Citizen's Police Academy
The purpose of the Warsaw Citizen's Police Academy is to provide an educational program that strives to create better understanding and communications between Warsaw’s police personnel and community members. This is an opportunity for the citizens of Warsaw to learn more about the men and women who are protecting their neighborhoods and why they make the decisions they do. The Warsaw Citizen's Police Academy also presents an opportunity for the citizens to voice their concerns directly to the police.
Our primary goal is to develop positive relations between the Warsaw Police Department and the community. We strive to create a growing nucleus of responsible, well-informed citizens who have the potential to influence public opinions about police practices and services. Citizens gain an appreciation of the problems and challenges facing law enforcement and have an opportunity to offer comments and ideas regarding solutions. This program gives citizens the opportunity to bridge the gap between law enforcement and civilians. It shows the community that we are interested in what they have to say, and their voices are heard.
The academy is ten (10) weeks in length. Classes are held in the evening, and each 3-1/2 hour session covers a different aspect of the Warsaw Police Department. Participants are presented with candid explanations of how each division functions. They learn how officers handle both successes and problems on a day-to-day basis. The Academy also includes an optional four-hour ride-along with a patrol officer and a tour of the police facilities.
Each year, the WCPA class participates in some type of service event. Activities in the past have included collecting toys for “Toys for Tots” and raising funding for the K-9 facility. Class 21 was able to raise enough money to purchase a bulletproof vest for one of Warsaw Police Department’s very own K-9 unit members—Dax.
Participants are selected from a simple application process. Chosen participants come from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of questions and philosophies about police officers. They range from public officials to school teachers to businessmen. Applications are available at the Warsaw Police Department and must be received by August 1 of each year.
All who attend the WCPA are provided with a notebook and handouts pertinent to each of the topics. A meal is served at each session by members of the Academy Alumni. At the end of each class session, participants evaluate the lesson they have just completed—which helps with planning future sessions. Upon graduation, everyone in the class receives a graduation certificate and a special gift from the Academy staff.
Why apply for the WCPA?
“I’ve always respected our law enforcement for what they do daily, but [now] I have much more compassion for what the officers and their families give up to support our community.” –Pam Messmore (Vice President, Regional Manager – Lake City Bank)
“The whole 10 weeks were full of learning. An eye-opening experience.” –Dan Smith (Retired Small Business Owner)
"If you want the story told as it really is, devote yourself to attending the ten week Police Academy course. The knowledge and insight gained is immeasurable. It heightened my ability to understand all points of view and the caring spirit of our community servants and officials. I will always cherish my experience with gratitude to all that make this community asset possible to its citizens. If you are thinking of attending the course, do apply. You will be pleasantly surprised." -Cassandra Bruner - Class 18 graduate