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Porterdale to offer Citizens Police Academy

PORTERDALE -- The Porterdale Police Department has announced that it will offer its first Citizens Police Academy beginning April 10.

The sessions will be from 6-8 p.m. and will meet at Porterdale City Hall. A nine-week program, it will meet weekly with a curriculum that affords the students an opportunity to observe what goes on inside the police department and learn about the many faces of police. Topics such as criminal and traffic laws, what each division in the agency is responsible for, firearms, courtroom testimony, gangs and more will be covered. Students will also participate in building searches, vehicle pullovers and a tour night where they will tour the Covington/Newton County 911 Center, the Newton County Detention Center and other agencies.

"This will be the first Citizens Police Academy to be offered in the history of the Porterdale Police Department and with a staff of 6.5 officers, it should be quite an undertaking," said Chief Geoff Jacobs in a printed release. "In addition to the normal class curriculum, we've added a little flair to the class. Several student volunteers will be able to participate in skits, whereupon they will see what it is like to run the gamut from answering a call and making an arrest to prosecuting a defendant."

Students will obtain an arrest warrant, a search warrant, participate in a nighttime building search, learn handcuffing techniques and finally become involved in a mock trial with a real judge and a real prosecutor.

The course is headed up by PPD Lt. Jason Cripps (770-786-2226 or jcripps@cityofporterdale.com) and applications are available at Porterdale City Hall, 2400 Main St., Porterdale.