| 03.20.2018

Educating citizens – Moscow Police Department holds 14th annual citizens academy


Moscow citizens who are interested in police work and law enforcement can educate themselves about local laws and statutes, courtesy of the Moscow Police Department. 

George Wood | Argonaut Phil Gray is a Moscow Police Department Officer, as well as a main coordinator for the City of Moscow's 14th Citizen Police Academy for Citizens.

George Wood | Argonaut
Phil Gray is a Moscow Police Department Officer, as well as a main coordinator for the City of Moscow’s 14th Citizen Police Academy for Citizens.

MPD will hold its 14th annual Citizens Police Academy starting Jan. 29. Registration for the course is now open.

The class will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights for 12 consecutive weeks and there are currently 30 open spots.

Lt. Dave Lehmitz said each week will cover a different topic or category. There are a variety of topics taught such as patrolling, laws, narcotics and firearm use and safety.

“We talk about EVOC, emergency vehicle operations course, we do a demonstration with our swat team … we hit about every topic,” Lehmitz said.

Lehmitz said there are plenty of interesting aspects to the course that students wouldn’t be able to participate in at a regular university class. Lehmitz said students will be taken out to the local shooting range one week and will be provided with guns and the proper safety equipment for training in class. Students are also given the opportunity to ride along with officers during regular police hours — as a part of the course.

No registration or licenses are needed to participate in the gun safety portion of the class, Lehmitz said.

Tammy Gray, a graduate of last year’s academy, says that she brought back a relationship with the MPD after attending the academy.

“They’re not just cops,” Gray said. “They’re actual people who have lives, it was pretty cool.”

Lehmitz said the academy brings Moscow residents and students together, puts a face to the police and gives a positive look to MPD.

He said the hope is to teach citizens more about what MPD does as a whole and create a bond with the police, UI students and Moscow residents.

Gray said the most interesting part of the class was the history of Moscow. She also said students and citizens got to see a different side of each other that they normal don’t get a chance to experience.

“It’s not segregated, it’s a nice crossover of the populations,” Gray said.

Students also have a chance to earn credit through UI, Lehmitz said. Lehmitz said the course is usually considered a three-credit class, and any student interested is advised to discuss the opportunity with their UI adviser.

“We’ve had communication majors, we’ve had justice study majors, we’ve had media, we’ve had a lot of students earn credits,” Lehmitz said.

Students interested in applying must go to MPD on a weekday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and fill out an application.

MPD will do a small background check for a criminal history before being accepted into the class, Lehmitz said. Applicants are accepted on a first come first served basis.

Students and citizens who graduate the class will be given a certificate of completion that can be shown to advisers for the possibility of UI credits, Lehmitz said.

Gray and Lehmitz both said they recommend UI students apply for the course because it is a chance to learn about the local police, the residents and the history of Moscow.

Danielle Wiley can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu


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