CRESTVIEW — Residents can delve into local public safety agencies' inner workings during the second Citizens Safety Academy, which begins June 10.
For 11 weeks, up to 25 participants will learn the inside operations of agencies including the Crestview police and fire departments, Okaloosa County EMS, the Medical Examiner's Office, State Probation and Parole Services and the Okaloosa Correctional Institute.
Academy students will spend time on the Crestview Police Department's firing range with a qualified police firearms instructor, and will learn how to process a crime scene.
Academy topics include traffic, patrol, evidence, investigations, domestic violence, drug investigations, law, community service, SWAT, communications, firearms safety and emergency first aid.
"I was hoping to learn what the police department does, and I found out they do a whole lot more than I thought they did," Joyce Heath, a graduate of the first academy session, said.
"I had never fired a handgun," Linda Mitchem, another graduate, said. "I was pretty nervous, but Andrew (Schneider) is a really good teacher. He put us so at ease. When he offered us a chance to shoot another round, I jumped on it."
Upon completing the academy, graduates can become a part of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, a new organization formed to provide vital volunteer support for the Crestview Police Department.
"We cover a wide range of material," academy founding instructor officer Wanda Hulion said. "The next term has even more information. We had to add another week to get it all in."
WANT TO ATTEND?
WHAT: Crestview Police Department Citizens Safety Academy
WHEN: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning June 10
WHERE: Warriors Hall, Whitehurst Municipal Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd., at the corner of Industrial Drive in Crestview
COST: Free; background check required
NOTES: Applicants for the 25 available openings must be at least 17 years old and live or work in Okaloosa County. Applications are available at the Crestview Police Department, 201 Stillwell Blvd., and at www.crestviewpd.org.
CONTACT: Community Service Officer Wanda Hulion, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Patrolman Sam Kimmons, email@example.com.