WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Citizen's Police Academy gives inside look at what police do

People in Onalaska have a chance to get a firsthand look at what police do. Applications are now being accepted for the Citizen’s police academy.

It’s been several years since Onalaska has had a Citizen’s Police Academy, and Chief Jeff Trotnic said it’s something he’s wanted since joining the department four and a half year ago.

“Often times people see things happening within a police department and they’re not quite clear on why something’s happening. Citizen’s police academies help people understand and answer those questions,” said Chief Trotnik.

Jeremy Southworth is a firefighter in Onalaska who went through the citizen’s police academy several years ago. He says he’s glad he did, because it gave him a better understanding and appreciation of the work police do.

“We work with the police department on a daily basis and I thought you know it was a good fit to kind of get there side of the story,” said Jeremy Southworth

But getting a better perspective isn’t the only benefit. Trotnic says the training could help prevent crime, because they’ll know what to look for and how to respond if something happens.

“If we have all of those citizens that kind of keep an eye on each other keep an eye out for suspicious behavior. You know we’re all better off,” said Chief Trotnic.

Participants will get to work one on one with police officers. Topics include emergency response, the dare program and how to do traffic stops.

Training lasts for ten weeks and is limited to twelve people. Most of it will happen at the police department, but some will happen at the jail and shooting range.

Applicants must be at least 18 and can apply anytime before April 3 as long as there are openings. The Citizen’s Police Academy is set to start April 3.


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