Citizens' Police Academy

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What is a Citizens' Police Academy ?

A Citizens' Police Academy is an opportunity for our residents to learn how the police department functions and what some of our operational procedures are.  The program uses a mix of lecture and hands-on experiences much like the police academy that our officers attend. The intent is to provide our residents with an overview of what it is like to be a police officer in the City.

The course is not intended to certify a participant as a police officer.

Who presents the program ?

The Citizens' Police Academy is a presentation of the Lafayette Crime Prevention Commission and the Lafayette Police Department. The program is led by officers and staff members who have been selected to provide instruction to the members of the class about the areas where they have expertise. The program is meant to be both informative and entertaining.  Participants are encouraged to ask questions and to express their views to members of the department.

Who can participate ?

During the academy, participants will be exposed to a few of the facets of law enforcement that few ever get to see or experience. Because of this, there are some restrictions on those who will be accepted for participation in the program.

To participate you must be:

  •  At least 21 years of age;
  •  A resident or work in the City of Lafayette;
  •  Willing to undergo a cursory background check;
  •  Not convicted of any felony and not convicted of a misdemeanor in the past year.

How does someone apply to participate ?

To apply for the academy, simply fill out the information on the back of this brochure and sign the form. Bring the signed form to the police department for processing. Once received, the application will be processed and a cursory background check will be completed. Eligible participants will be contacted and advised of their acceptance into the program. Applicants are asked to commit to attending at least 5 of the class presentations.

When is the program presented and what does it cover ?

The Citizens' Police Academy takes place on Tuesday evenings from 7 pm to 10 pm. The programs are conducted at the City Offices and at various criminal justice sites throughout the County.  When field visits are a part of the program, participants will be asked to drive to the presentation site or meet at the police department for group transportation.  During the course of the program, an optional session will be offered at the firearms range. This session is hosted on a Saturday morning at the Sheriff's Firearms Range which is located in Clayton.

The Citizens' Police Academy covers the following topics:

- Communications - Criminal Justice System

- Investigations - Narcotics

- Gangs - Patrol Operations

- Traffic Enforcement - Accident Investigation

- Firearms Training - Traffic Stops

- Disaster Response - Driver Training

- Use of Force - Crime Scene Investigation

The academy concludes with a graduation ceremony before a regularly scheduled City Council Meeting.

How much does it cost to attend?

The Academy is presented at no cost to participants.  Each participant receives a T-Shirt as a member of the academy program. This T-Shirt is to be worn during the presentation of the class sessions.

Are there any physical requirements ?

Academy participants will not be expected to participate in physical or strenuous activities. Although some activities do require some physical agility, all participants will be accommodated and there are no required activities as a part of the academy.

How many students are in a class?

We restrict the size of each class to a total of eighteen participants. This ensures that we have a good mix of staff members and participants during the academy.

What will participants learn ?

Participants in the Citizens' Police Academy will have an opportunity to:

  •  Learn how a police investigation is conducted.
  •  Understand what specific laws require drivers to follow.
  •  Learn how officers investigate a traffic collision.
  •  Identify the indicators of drug use and abuse.
  •  Identify what common street drugs look like and the paraphernalia that accompany drug use.
  •  Recognize common gang indicators
  •  Understand how evidence is collected and processed.
  •  Learn about firearms safety and actually shoot a firearm.
  •  Participate in use of force exercises.
  •  Drive a police car.
  •     Meet members of the criminal justice community.

What is the agenda for the program ?

Typically, the Citizens' Police Academy is taught in the following order:

Session 1 - Criminal Justice Overview

Session 2 - Traffic Operations

Session 3 - Investigations Overview

Session 4 - Use of Force Simulator

Session 5 - Crime Lab Overview / Tour

Session 6 - Jail Tour

Optional Session - Firearms Range

All participants are required to perform a four-hour ride-a-long with an officer before the end of the academy session.

When does the next academy start?

Academy session's are held in the Spring and Fall.   

Contact Commissioner Denise Brown at

Or Cathy Surges-Moscato at

Click here for an application.