- What is the Citizens’ Academy?
The Centralia Police Department's Citizens' Academy was implemented in 1997 to promote positive relations between police and the community. The objective is to provide citizens with the opportunity to get an inside look at how your local police department operates.
The selected academy attendees meet for three hours each Monday evening for 8 consecutive weeks and 2 Saturday activities. You will learn more about various operations of the department as well as the challenges that law enforcement face in today's society. Officers and civilian personnel present on their specific areas of expertise.
Through education, hands on experience and interaction with Officers, the goal is to create a foundation of responsible well-informed individuals who have the potential of influencing public opinions about police practices. Academy participants will gain an appreciation of the problems and challenges facing law enforcement today. They will have the opportunity to offer comments, ideas and solutions to problems that we all share within the community.
- Who may attend the academy?
Participants are selected from applicants who live in and around our community. We aim to have a well-rounded cross-section of our residents who have an interest in the police department from youth to elderly; men and women; as well as representatives from civic organizations and other professions. Selected applicants do not have to live in Centralia, but must be 18 years of age and pass a background check. We limit the academy to 30 attendees to ensure a beneficial experience.
- What topics will be covered?
Some of the topics the academy will include:
- Community Policing
- Criminal investigations
- Drug enforcement
- My worst/best day as a Cop
- Observer ride along with an officer
- Officer selection and training
- Overview of crime in our area
- Police equipment and cost
- SWAT operations
- The dangers of the traffic stop
- Tour Centralia Police Department, Lewis County Jail and 911 Dispatch Center
- What does a criminal look like
- The history of the Centralia PD
- What happens after completing the program?
Upon completion, graduates of the Citizens' Academy will receive a certificate signed by the Chief of Police. Many Citizens' Academy graduates go on to help the Centralia Police Department as volunteers. Some volunteers help with office work and special events. The Centralia Police Department's community outreach events include:
- A Night Out With Santa
- Lewis County Special Olympics Torch Run
- National Night Out Against Crime
- The SW Washington Fair
Other Academy graduates may be interested in specialized police work with the Reserve Unit or the Block Watch Program.
- How do I apply for the Citizens’ Academy?
Download the Citizens' Academy Application (PDF). Applications may also be obtained at the Centralia Police Department between 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Questions? Call 360-330-7680.