Police Department To Host 23rd Annual Citizen’s Academy

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) - If you've wondered what it would like to be a police officer, you'll be able to see it for yourself during an annual class held by a River Valley Police Department.

The Van Buren Police Department has been offering the class for 23 years and during that time folks have learned first-hand what it takes to be a police officer.

The 12-week class involves police officers teaching almost every aspect of what an officer does during the day. This include learning about court room procedures, code enforcement, traffic stops, crime scene processing, and much more.

Officials will meet once a week with the participants and during that time they'll get to take a ride with a police officer and see what it's like during a patrol shift. They'll also receive a tour of the police department and the Crawford County Detention Center, and even learn how to shoot a gun.

At this time, the Van Buren Police Department has two employees who were participants in this class long ago.

Detective Jonathan Wear said the meaning of this class is to build a good relationship with the public by showing them what police officers do on a regular basis.

"There's been a breakdown in our community as far as citizens and law enforcement," said Wear. "I think a lot of it what they see is dramatized on television."

According to Wear, "We give them the opportunity to actually come in and see in real life what our officers do."

The first class is on Tuesday night (Feb.23) starting at 6:00 p.m. However, the class is sold out for this spring season. The police department said you can sign up for their fall session in September by going to their website or stopping by the police station.

If you're interested, those who participate must go through a background check.