Citizens to get inside look at duties of police
The Lawton Police Department will give residents of Lawton-Fort Sill an inside look at a police officers' duties during the annual Citizens Police Academy that begins Jan. 4.
Free of charge and open to the public, the 12-week academy consists of classes from 6-9 p.m. Thursday each week at the Police Training Building, Building 900 at Great Plains Technology Center, 4500 W. Lee.
Participants must be at least age 18, and high school students who are age 18 may attend if permission is granted from Police Chief James Smith.
The purpose of the academy is to build the relationship between the police department and the community through education and awareness.
During the classes, the police officers and detectives will interact with residents and teach them about different topics, including the K-9 unit, patrol division, lake patrol and the department's history, among other topics, according to Sgt. Tim Jenkins, the department's public information officer.
"We want our community to know what we do and why we do it," Jenkins said. "We want them to also be a part of that."
Registration for the academy is open, and applications are available at the police station, 10 Southwest 4th.
Past participants have been from different professions, Jenkins said, and the academy is especially beneficial to students majoring in criminal justice at Cameron University and to those who are interested in a career in law enforcement.
"It's also great insight for families, especially if you have a husband or a wife that's a police officer," Jenkins said. "You get to know what they deal with on a daily basis and see some of the issues they encounter."
Many past participants had little knowledge about the police department prior to attending the academy, Jenkins said, so the experience was eye opening for them.
"Getting to talk to them and seeing what they learned week by week and then, at the end of class, seeing how far they progressed I love that part," he said.