About the Citizens’ Academy
The Bainbridge Island Police Department's citizens' academy was founded in 2003 with a goal of fostering a better understanding of police work through education and improve communication between the citizens of Bainbridge Island and the officers who serve them. 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.
The program is offered once annually toward the beginning of the year and involves two hours of training each Tuesday evening for 10 weeks with two optional Saturdays. 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 are earned, but participants gain a better understanding of the department’s decision-making processes, how and why policies are created, and learn more 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.
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 of their police department.
How to Apply
It is not necessary to be a resident of Bainbridge Island to apply, 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. If you are interested in signing up for next year's academy, here's a link to our application form
. You are also welcome to sign up for a ride-along with an officer. Here's a link to our ride-along application
If you want to think about it for a while or just need more information, see our brochure
or contact the Police Department at 206-842-5211.