You’ll have your chance by participating in the Citizens Police Academy, a program run by the Portsmouth Police Department beginning March 6. The town had a police academy in the past, but it hasn’t been active in several years.
The eight-week program allows citizens to learn and experience the inner world of law enforcement, and gives a firsthand look at the daily operations of the police department.
The training will consist of classroom instruction, demonstrations, tours, as well as hands-on practical applications. Instructors will be members of the department including patrol officers, supervisors and administrators.
Some of the topics to be offered include:
• uniformed patrol
• traffic codes
• drunk driving enforcement
• crime scene investigations
• harbor patrol functions
• firearms safety and training
• accident investigations
• domestic violence
• mock crime scene scenarios
To be eligible for the academy, participants must be at least 18, live or work in Portsmouth and have no felony convictions.
The program will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, from March 6 to April 24, at Portsmouth Police Headquarters, 2270 East Main Road.
To apply, you can download an application from www.portsmouthpoliceri.com, or pick one up in the lobby of the police station. The application deadline 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.
Police Chief Thomas Lee expressed interest in getting the academy going again shortly after his appointment last fall.
“We bring them in and the detectives show them how we lift fingerprints, we’ll take them out for a ride-along in the cruisers, we’ll take them out to the (firing) range and show them how to safely handle a firearm,” the chief said in an interview in November.
“They’re going to see policing from the front seat of a police car and find out, it’s not TV. It’s obviously not a full police academy, but a familiarization academy for citizens. Anyone who’s gone through it greatly appreciates the job more — what the officers have to deal with.”