HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Do you ever wonder about what it takes to be a part of the Huntsville Police Department? Or why the department operates the way it does? You have the opportunity to find out.
"The reason we do these academies is not just to benefit us, but really it's more for the citizens," said Lt. Stacy Bates with HPD.
The department's Citizens Police Academy is a 9-week program offered each spring and fall. It gives participants a first-hand look at the job of a Huntsville police officer.
"They get to see a lot of things that the average citizens don't see every day: how our records division work, even on the Madison County jail site, they get to do a jail tour," said Lt. Bates.
The Huntsville Police Department is using this citizens academy as a way for people to communicate directly to officers, much like the online community network officers use, called NextDoor.
"It's a way for us to quickly get out information, specific information, that we may need and it allows that citizen a way to communicate back directly with us without having to wait on an officer to come to their house or pick up a phone," said Lt. Bates.
Lt. Bates says the citizens academy shows officers how much dedication people have to their communities.
The deadline to apply for the academy is September 30. Students will meet every Thursday from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.