Public safety academy announced for Hemet residents

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Hemet residents who want a better understanding of police operations and how they can contribute to the safety of their community are invited to attend the Hemet Police Department’s second “Citizens’ Police Academy,” beginning in March.

The police department’s inaugural academy began Aug. 21 and recently ended with a graduation ceremony for the 13 residents who completed the program.

“The citizens had presentations from department personnel who are experts in the areas of patrol tactics, criminal investigations, SWAT, K-9, narcotics, gang task force, dispatch, traffic enforcement, use of force and other related fields,” Sgt. Derek Maddox said. “All students participated in practical demonstrations, simulators and a ride-along during the academy.”

The next program will begin March 5 and will require a once-a-week commitment – every Thursday evening – until mid-May.

“The academy is set up to encourage students to ask questions and express their concerns about pertinent issues,” Maddox said. “The major goal of the Citizens’ Police Academy is to increase partnership and collaboration between our citizens and the Hemet Police Department.”

Most classes will be held at the agency’s main office, 450 E. Latham Ave. in Hemet.

Applications for admission to the academy are being accepted now.

Maddox said that applicants are required to undergo a background check before acceptance. About 15 people will be admitted, he said.

All attendees must be over 18 years old, and they cannot have felony convictions or unresolved criminal matters of any kind pending in court.

Anyone interested was encouraged to contact Maddox via email at dmaddox@cityofhemet.org, or call (951) 765-2400.