Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Richmond Police Recruiting for Citizen Academy

Feb. 3, 2010
If you’ve ever wondered how the Richmond Police Department operates, now’s your chance to find out.

The Department will offer a nine-week Citizen Police Academy for those interested in learning about Richmond Police community policing strategies and law enforcement-related topics. There will be eight, two-hour classes held every Thursday, beginning March 11 through May 6. Classes will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 W. Graham Road. The academy will culminate the ninth week with a graduation ceremony. This will be the Department’s 15th Citizen Academy.

First Precinct Officer Mary Gary has gone through two academies with Richmond Police. The first one inspired her. The second one hired her.

When Gary was in the 13th Citizen Academy, she was working as a bank teller. She was interested in law enforcement and wanted to learn more about what police work involves. The Citizen Academy provided the answers to all of her questions.

“The experience was awesome – there’s no other way to describe the Citizen Academy,” Gary said. “It convinced me that this was the career for me.”

Gary graduated in December as a member of the 103rd Basic Recruit Class.

The Citizen Academy sessions are diverse and range from the Department’s organizational structure to forensics, criminal investigation, narcotics and firearms. Anyone who lives or works in Richmond can attend the academy. You must be at least 18 years old with no felony convictions. Misdemeanor convictions will be reviewed and considered by Chief Bryan T. Norwood. The deadline to register for the academy is March 4. Space is limited.

“I don’t know anyone else who we’ve ‘recruited’ in that manner,” said GiTonya Parker, coordinator for the Department’s Citizens Academies. “But it is a testament to the Citizen Academy experience. We do our best to give the full picture of policing from behind the scenes.”

Persons interested in registering for the 15th Citizen Academy may contact Parker at 646-7648.