Coon Rapids Police Citizens Academy taking applications

Applications are being taken for the 2013 Coon Rapids Police Citizens Academy.

The academy will take place on nine Wednesday evenings, starting Sept. 11 and concluding Nov. 6 with a graduation ceremony at which each participant will receive a certificate.

Residents of or business owners in Coon Rapids as well as those who have a significant employment connection to the city are eligible to apply.

But law enforcement students are not eligible.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and pass a criminal background check.

Participants will learn a variety of topics through lectures, demonstrations, tours, a ride-along and hands-on exercises.

Each week, there will be a different curriculum with varying topics, presenters and outside speakers.

The sessions generally run from 6 or 6:30 to 9 or 10 p.m.

“The Police Citizens Academy is a free program offered by the police department each fall as an educational tool to show the public the role of modern law enforcement,” said Sgt. Daren Keasling, academy coordinator.

The goals of the academy program are to enhance public safety, help citizens understand law enforcement strategies and problems, reduce crime and present crime prevention materials, build relationships with the community and create police ambassadors to the community.

Some of the past graduates of the academy have become members of the Coon Rapids Police Reserve Unit.

All participants will receive a polo shirt which they are asked to wear at each academy session along with khaki or similar tan colored trousers.

Application deadline is the close of business Friday, Aug. 19 and the class size is limited to 20 people.

An academy application is available online in PDF format at or at the front desk of the police department.

The Coon Rapids Crime Prevention Association, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide financial resources to the police department to prevent and fight crime in Coon Rapids, is the financial sponsor of the academy each year.

For more information contact Keasling at 763-767-6474 or [email protected].

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]