Citizens' Police Academy
Our Citizens' Police Academy is an eight week program designed to provide Gaston County residents first-hand information about how their Police Department works. Two sessions of our Citizens' Police Academy are offered each year: one in the spring and one in the fall:
- Spring academy sessions are held on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 11 am
- Fall academy sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm
- What subjects are included?
Sessions begin with a presentation of the County Police Department's philosophy regarding community oriented policing. Subsequent sessions include the following topic areas:
- Property and Evidence
- Patrol Procedures
- Criminal Investigations
- School Resource
- Recruitment and selection
- Crime Analysis
- Special Investigations (vice and narcotics)
- Crime Scene Search
- Hazardous Devices Team
- Emergency Response Team
- Animal Care and Enforcement
Throughout this academy, participants are encouraged to ask questions and discuss topics with Department personnel. Participants over the age of 18 can also participate in a police officer ride-along program where they spend a shift riding with an officer on patrol. To inquire about a ride along, contact our Records Unit at 704-866-3320.
- What is the purpose of the Academy?
The Academy is designed to increase understanding between citizens and police officers through education. Our intent is to acquaint citizens with law enforcement's role in the criminal justice system, and provide an understanding of the tasks police officers face in their daily work. With better understanding, it becomes easier for police and citizens to find realistic solutions to neighborhood problems.
- Who teaches the Academy Sessions?
The instructors are officers and personnel from the Department who teach in their own areas of expertise. Each has years of training and experience in the subject. The officers also bring street experience into the classroom.
- How are participants selected?
The Citizen Police Academy is open to adults and young people ages 16 years of age and up.
- How do I apply?
Sessions of the Citizens' Police Academy begin in the Spring and Fall. Please complete and submit the Citizens Police Academy Application (PDF) for consideration. You will be notified if you are selected for the next session. There is no fee for the Academy.