Citizen's Police Academy
In 1998 the Mansfield Police Department's first citizen's academy graduated. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to the traditional police academy, but these students are not police candidates. The class members include a wide cross section of the community's population, i.e., homemakers, professional businesspersons, retirees, and neighborhood watch members.
The first Police Night School was held in England in 1977 by the Devon Cromwall Constabulary and met with immediate success. Citizens were anxious to learn of the operations of their police force, which heretofore were obscure and private. Shortly afterward, the Orlando, Florida Police Department conducted the first Citizen Police Academy in the United States. The Orlando Academy was patterned after the English Police Night School. Since that time, other law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have developed and conducted versions of the Citizen Police Academy.
Graduates of the Mansfield Police Citizen's Academy will not be commissioned law enforcement officers. They will be more familiar with the operations of the Mansfield Police Department and will gain a deeper understanding of the problems and policies the officers face daily.
The 30-hour training program consists of classroom and hands on instruction to provide the public with a working knowledge of the Mansfield Police Department. Participants will meet for three (3) hours once a week during a 10-week course. Instructions will be comprehensive, and each week a different area of the police department will be covered, with each session facilitated by one or more Mansfield Police Officers who are state certified instructors, or experts in a particular field.
Topics covered will include:
- Traffic Laws and Seven Step Violator Contact
- Student Participation in Mock Low Risk and High Risk Traffic Stops
- Accident Investigation
- DWI/DUI Investigation
- Family Violence
- Student Participation in Mock Family Violence Disturbances
- Texas State Penal Code
- Jail Operations
- Building Searches (with and without K-9)
- Student Participation in Mock Building Searches
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Use of Force
- Communications/Dispatch Operations
- Civil Law
- SWAT and Negotiations
The purpose behind the CPA is to build a better understanding of the police department's functions. The academy classes fill up quickly upon the starting of a new class. A vast amount of time has been put into the CPA course and all of the classes are taught by police officers themselves. The officers teaching the course are all certified instructors by the State of Texas.
Upon successful graduation from the course the CPA members are given an opportunity to join the Volunteers In Police Service Program.
For details on the next CPA Academy Class contact the Community Resource Division at 817-276-4758 or check the Police Department's Facebook Page.