Middletown may restart Citizen Police Academy

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Middletown may restart Citizen Police Academy

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Participants in Hamilton Police Department’s Hispanic Police Academy learn about firearms safety. The Middletown Police Department is planning to restart its Citizen Police Academy in 2018. CONTRIBUTED

A Facebook post that inquired how many people in Middletown would be interested in participating in a Citizen Police Academy has already resulted in more than two dozen people interested in signing up.

Lt. Jimmy Cunningham said police Chief Rodney Muterspaw posted the inquiry last week on the Middletown Division of Police’s Facebook page.

“It’s going to happen in early 2018,” Cunningham said.

He said the last time Middletown police hosted a citizen police academy was about 10 years ago. Since then, he said budget cuts and lack of community interest were two reasons why the department has not hosted an academy.

“It shows transparency and gives the community an idea of what goes on in the police department,” he said.

Cunningham said the program runs six to eight weeks on a weeknight and those who participate learn more about police procedures, policies and tactics as well as going on a ride-along with a patrol officer and spending some time at the police shooting range getting familiar with weapons. Participants will also learn about making traffic stops as well as how evidence is collected and how criminal investigations are handled.

He said the department’s instructors teach the various classes during the citizen police academy.

Cunningham said about 20 people are accepted in a class, but that the details and participation costs are still being worked out. He said more information will be coming later this year.

“It’s a great community tool and gives police a chance to give back to the community,” he said.

Other area communities such as Trenton, Monroe, Hamilton, Fairfield Twp., and West Chester Twp. have hosted citizen police academies in the past several years.

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