The Jacksonville Police Department will be conducting a Citizens Police Academy beginning on April 8. This will be an eight-week academy designed to inform citizens on different aspects of law enforcement including Community Policing, Criminal Investigations, Patrol Duties, Use of Force, Firearms, K-9 Duties, SRT demonstration, Narcotics and Less Lethal weapons. This course will be held on each Tuesday from 6-9 p.m.

"The course is free, and we encourage all who want to gain an active knowledge of their police department to attend. Attendance will be limited to 15 citizens," said April Kiser, public information officer of the Jacksonville Police Department.

The goal of the Citizens Police Academy is, citizens educated in police work will be more supportive of police officers and the department, and will be more productive within their own neighborhoods and communities. The Citizens Police Academy is not a "training" class but an exciting "information" class, a behind the scenes look at the Jacksonville Police Department.

The mission of the Jacksonville Citizens Police Academy is to increase public awareness and confidence, improve community relations and create a better understanding between the citizens and the Jacksonville Police Department through education.

The CPA is limited to those who live or work inside the city limits of Jacksonville, are over the age of 18, pass a background investigation, have no felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions for at least one year.

The instructors of the CPA will be officers from the Jacksonville Police Department. The instructors will speak on their area of expertise. The CPA is coordinated through the Training Section of the Jacksonville Police Department.

If anyone who would like to attend the Citizens Police Academy should complete an application. Applications are available at the Jacksonville Police Department, 1400 Marshall Road , Jacksonville, or online at . All applications must be received by March 21.

For more information, contact Sgt. Jerry Keefer at 982-3191 or at