DECATUR, Ala. - Now more than ever, police want to draw closer to the community. One department's yearly initiative invites you to learn how it functions.
It's time for the yearly citizen's police academy.
"Given some of the situation going on in the world right now, I'm sure people are interested in what your local police department is doing," said Lieutenant Proncey Robertson.
You won't be completing a pt test or going to the shooting range, but it gives residents an inside look at the departments and allows access you wouldn't normally get.
"We'll allow you some tours, for instance, of the jail, the dispatch center, the 911 center, as well as a ride along with a police officer," Lt. Robertson explained.
It's also a time to get to know everyone from the chief all the way down to the patrol officers and ask pressing questions about the way the department functions.
"We explain in detail things about the different types of use of force we might use, how they work, like the pepper spray, the taser, really give you details about it that you wouldn't get anywhere else."
The program begins September 6. Classes meet every Tuesday at the Decatur Utilities auditorium until their graduate October 27.
After you graduate, you can join the Decatur Police Citizens Academy Alumni Association, volunteers who help around the department. Lt. Robertson explains they help with parking detail, record filing, data entry, and so on.
"Those folks begin to build a relationship with us, and become part of our family, literally. And that's what we want the community to do," Lt. Robertson said.
All applicants go through a simple background check and must be at least 21 years old. Decatur police hopes to share with the community while getting feedback as they protect and serve.