The UTPA Police Department is offering the University community an inside look at university policing.
A free 10-week Citizens Police Academy has been designed to provide an overview of the department's functions, responsibilities, and operational procedures. Classes will be taught by police trainers, executives, staff members and veteran police officers. Academy participants will also have the opportunity to meet with the Chief of Police to discuss issues of policing on the UTPA campus.
"I am pleased we are able to offer an opportunity to invite the campus community to participate in a partnership program like the Citizen's Police Academy," said UTPA Police Chief Roger Stearns. "The program provides an introduction to police operations and encourages community members to become active partners in helping to make our community safer. I look forward to working with the volunteers from the program to promote crime prevention and educational awareness initiatives."
The academy is one of the UTPA Police Department's foundation programs for developing partnerships with the community, Stearns said. Classes are open to students, faculty and staff who are interested in helping make the campus and neighborhood safer.
The classes consist of lecture, discussion, demonstrations and interactive exercises. Topics include community policing, criminal investigations, evidence collection, introduction to firearms training, police vehicle operations and more. Activities and demonstrations include fingerprinting, telecommunications, traffic stops, use of force decision making with a laser firearms training simulator, building searches, crime scene investigations, patrol ride-a-long, and search and seizure procedures.
The Academy will meet once a week for a three-hour evening session at the UTPA Police Department. At the conclusion, a Citizen's Police Academy Graduation will take place where graduates are presented certificates and mementos of their experiences.
Enrollment is open to all members of the university community who would like to learn more and experience campus policing.
A complete training schedule for the academy, which begins Sept. 14 is available at http://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/dba_home/police_home/pd_community/pd_citizens.
If you are interested in being a part of this exciting program, you must complete the registration form at the UTPA Police Department or contact Officer Hector Flores, (956) 316-7151, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.