Citizens Police Academy

Citizens Police Academy offers the chance to use a virtual reality training simulator.

Have you ever wanted to experience what it's like to be a police officer? That opportunity is now available. Police departments across the country are providing another way for citizens within their community to learn about the different aspects of police work through a hands-on learning course.

What is a Citizen's Police Academy?

The Citizen's Police Academy is a program that allows members of the public to learn about the inner workings of their local police department. It is designed to build relationships between the police and the community, and to give citizens a better understanding of the police department's role in keeping the peace. The academy typically lasts for 10 weeks, during which time participants will receive classroom instruction on a variety of topics related to law enforcement. In addition, they will also have the opportunity to ride along with police officers on patrol, visit the 911 dispatch center, and more.

Citizen's Police Academy History

Citizen's Police Academy is a program designed to acquaint community residents who are not sworn police officers with the activities of their local police department. A common theme among citizens police academies is "understanding through education." The goal of most citizen police academies is to educate the public about their local police department and to increase the rapport between citizens and police officers.

It is used to train citizens who are not law enforcement officials at the operations of various police departments. A common feature of citizen police academies is "learning through education." The goal of the majority of citizen police academies is to educate the local community about its police department and to increase community trust.

Citizen's Police Academy Course Content and Overview

Students will participate in informative classroom-style presentations as well as practical demonstrations with a variety of Police Department personne. Although CPA's offer different experiences and training content, most citizen's police academies offer participants the following:

VR Simulators Aid Citizens Police Academy

As police departments across the country adopt and install VR training simulators at their local agencies, incorporating their training simulator in the citizens police academy has become increasingly popular. Apex Officer's virtual reality simulator allows you to experience police work from different points of view – from the street, to the patrol car and even outside.

Opelika Citizens Police Academy
Opelika Citizens Police Academy

A recent example of a law enforcement agency incorporating their VR simulator in their Citizens Academy is with the Opelika Police Departments' Citizens Academy. Its goal is to educate the public on the various aspects of police work within the City of Opelika - the various divisions, the training officers must go through, the dangers faced by Opelika 's force on a daily basis. Each week participants have the opportunity to listen to officers from various divisions in the force relate their duties, the training and experience required for that particular division.

OPD has dedicated and week seven to: Apex Officer - A computerized system that puts officers through simulated scenarios to teach them how to make split-second decisions, and how much force to use in any given situation, is the focus of the training this evening. (It's harder than it looks!)

Opelika Police Department's old system they used only had certain scenarios and didn’t allow for much interaction. With this system, the department can manipulate the situation to make it more lifelike, and it allows for an officer to be on the other end of the simulation.


If you would like to experience what it's like to take a walk in your local police officer's shoes, reach out to your local police department and sign up for their next citizen's academy. You won't regret the opportunity. If you'd like to learn more about Apex Officer and how your law enforcement agency can benefit from this new technology, please schedule your free product demonstration today.

About the Author

Carey Rhodes
Marketing Manager

Marketing Manger at Apex Officer