EDWARDSVILLE – The Edwardsville Police Department is relaunching its Citizens Police Academy to provide participants with a hands-on opportunity to experience and learn about law enforcement. The academy will be offered over 10 weekly sessions to be held from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning January 17, 2023.
“One of the main benefits and goals of the Citizens Police Academy is for the cadets to be able to see and experience what Edwardsville police officers do on a daily basis,” said Edwardsville Police Sgt. Matt Evers, who leads the academy. “It is often eye-opening for them once they get a behind-the-scenes look at being a police officer.” Academy sessions will include tours, demonstrations, practical exercises and a ride-along with officers.
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Some portions may require physical activity. The Police Department will work to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with special needs, but cannot guarantee participation in all activities.
Among the topics and exercises planned for the sessions are:
Use of force, mental health/crisis intervention, and de-escalation techniques
Force on force/active shooter hands-on exercise
Drug trends and identification
Hands-on crime scene exercise
Investigations overview and cyber crimes
The academy is open to adults, 21 and over, and will be limited to 20 participants. Priority will be given to Edwardsville residents on a first-come, first-served basis. A $25 registration fee is required. Classroom sessions will take place at the Public Safety Building, 333 S. Main Street. Upon graduation, participants will receive a shirt and certificate of completion.
Evers noted that the Police Department benefits from hosting the academy as much as cadets do by participating.
“It’s valuable in that it further helps to build that relationship of trust and understanding between the Police Department and the community,” he said. Anyone interested in participating in the academy can direct questions to Sgt. Evers at the Edwardsville Police Department by phone: 618-656-2131, Ext. 156; or by email: email@example.com To enroll in the spring session of the Edwardsville Citizens Police Academy, please visit: www.cityofedwardsville.com/police