Last night the 22 students of the 2016 EPPD Citizens Academy completed their last session. Citizens Academy is a free six-week class that covers traffic enforcement, use of force, DWI enforcement, 911 Dispatching, the SWAT team and investigations. Citizens Academy is sponsored by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund.
During this year’s Academy, students had the opportunity to follow a “suspect’s” car using a GPS tracker, learn how to make traffic stops and use a Use of Force simulator to evaluate what type of force to use in video scenarios.
In addition, they met the department’s K-9 teams, went behind the scenes with the department’s 911 dispatchers and tried out the SWAT team’s equipment. The students also learned crisis intervention techniques that officers use when encountering people in mental crisis. A professional actress who has received specialized training in mental health issues served as a role player for the students in crisis situations.
If you’re interested in participating in a future Citizens Academy, watch the department’s blog and Facebook page for registration information.