Citizens Safety Academy accepting applications for summer term

Police academy

Michael Mitchem, a Crestview High School senior, learns how to use firearms under the instruction of Crestview Police Lt. Andrew Schneider during the first Citizens Safety Academy.

LINDA MITCHEM | Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 01:30 PM.

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.

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