The 10-week course is offered near the beginning of each year and involves two hours of training on Wednesday evenings with two optional Saturdays.
The intent is not to produce civilians trained in law enforcement, but to help residents and business owners become more familiar with the workings of their local Police Department and be better acquainted with its officers.
What to Expect
Participants are presented with frank and candid explanations of how each unit in the department functions and have the opportunity to ask questions of guest speakers.
There are no tests to pass and no educational credits earned, but participants gain a better understanding of the department’s decision-making processes, how and why policies are created, and learn about the kinds of situations officers face every day. More importantly, citizens can determine more accurately how effective the department is in serving the community.
Here's a video from the 2015 class that may help illustrate what to expect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqtAO0_x8BI
Some of the topics covered include traffic enforcement, narcotics, investigations, criminal law, defensive tactics, and identity theft. Also included in the program is the opportunity to ride with an on-duty patrol officer, a tour of the 911 dispatch center, Kitap County Coroner's Office, and Kitsap County Jail.
What the department gains in good will cannot compare to the benefits community members gain by knowing more about the men and women who serve them.
Apply For The Next Class
It is not necessary to be a resident of Bainbridge Island to apply for the Citizens' Academy, although city residents are given first priority. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, willing to make a 10-week commitment, and undergo a criminal background check. The next academy runs from Wednesday, February 3rd through Wednesday, April 6th, 2016. To sign up for this academy, fill out the application form and turn it in to the Police Station. The class will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Our mailing address is 625 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA, 98110.