Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / July 8, 2022
(Parker, Colo.) Residents near Parker can apply for the fall Citizen’s Police Academy, scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Thursdays from Aug. 4 through Nov. 10. Participants will experience Parker Police Department operations and services.
Participants gain first-hand information about evidence collection and crime scene management, dispatch, SWAT, accident reconstruction, DUI laws, K-9 Units, and the school resource officer program, among other topics. It also allows officers to engage citizens personally and address misconceptions.
“The citizens academy is a great opportunity for residents to come in and learn about all the services that the department has to offer. The department is kind of like an iceberg — what citizens see is patrol, the tip of the iceberg,” said Josh Hans, public information officer for Parker Police. “While the most visible, it is still a small part of all the work we do. Participants will see all the services we offer and have the opportunity to ask questions — not just learn what we’re doing, but why.”
Hans said anyone, even those skeptical of the department or who question specific policies or procedures, is welcome to apply for the academy. He also said the department will hold four dinners before some of the classes during the academy with Parker Police Chief Jim Tsurapas. The goal is to offer an open, candid conversation with the chief, Hans said.
Participants must commit to classroom work, combined with field trips and tours, each Thursday night. There is an optional Saturday class at the shooting range to fire weapons used by police officers.
Participation is limited to the first 40 qualified registrants, 18 and older, and Parker residents will be given priority. Anyone who does not get into the current class will be added to a waitlist and given priority registration for the next class. Anyone with a felony, sexual assault or domestic violence conviction does not qualify.
Registration is available on the Parker Police website, parkerpolice.org/480/Citizens-Police-Academy.
Graduates of the program are invited to join Citizens Offering Parker Police Support, a nonprofit organization created by graduates of the Parker Citizen’s Police Academy. According to the organization’s website, members volunteer and fundraise in support of the department. Members also regularly receive continuing education courses and an open line of communication with members of the police department.