LPD to host Citizens Police Academy

Published 7:39 pm Monday, January 8, 2018

The LaGrange Police Department is currently accepting applications for the citizens police academy. The ten-week program will start Jan. 23 and the police department decided to run it twice a year, according to Community Outreach Officer Jim Davison.

“This is the first offering we’ve done in the first half of the year. Normally we do it in the fall,” Davison said. “There seemed to be a lot more interest in it in general, and a lot of people are always asking about it, so we thought we’d run it again. [Chief Lou Dekmar] also had an interest in doing it as a second offering just to open it up to try to have more of a relationship with the community in that respect as far as educating them in what we do and how we do it.”

The weekly two and a half hour classes are supposed to give insight into local police work and what all the officers do, including gang investigation, the traffic unit and code enforcement. Davison said they hold the classes to dispel a negative image on law enforcement.

“The idea is to connect with people and to kind of connect in two ways in terms of people know what we do and why we do what we do. And then also a lot of times we get a lot of feedback that’s positive in the sense that people really didn’t understand or realize how we do things and what we do,” he said. “It kind of resolves negative thoughts that people have held about the police in general because they have a better understanding.”

Davison said they can take approximately 40 people for the program, but usually around 20 people participate.

“We get a wide variety of people from all walks of life, and that’s what we’re kind of targeting,” he said. “I think the biggest class we’ve had has been 30 people.”

Applications are due Jan. 19.

“We’re trying to get everybody who wants to register to be registered by Jan. 19, that’s kind of the soft cutoff date,” Davison said. “It’s not absolute. We want people to participate.”

Those interested can get application forms at the police department’s front desk, through the departments Facebook page and on its website.