The concept of the Citizens Police Academy, CPA was developed in 1977, by the Devon and Cornwall, England Constabulary. Its purpose was to familiarize private citizens with the nature of police work.
The idea came about when citizens told their local police agencies that they were anxious to learn about how their police department operated. Once the agency decided to explore the possibility, it became apparent that even the most affluent and well disposed members of the public were almost totally ignorant of the features of police work.
The people who attended the academy came from every walk of life, and they quickly developed an eagerness to learn and participate. The academy also built a bridge between the community and law enforcement.
The first law enforcement agency in the United States to adopt the program was the Orlando (Florida) Police Department. In 1985, Orlando began what would become a national model. Since then, many major cities in the United States have established them. The Richmond Police Department began its Citizens’ Police Academy in the mid 2000’s. Currently, there are two academy classes per year pending enrollment. Law enforcement has always strived to improve the public’s perception of police, and to increase the understanding that the community has for our practices and procedures.
The Richmond Police Department sponsors the Citizen’s Police Academy. The Richmond Police Department’s CPA program encourages residents to work with law enforcement agencies to deter crime, identify resources and restore the community. The Citizen’s Police Academy is an important program that continues the expansion of our community based efforts.
Classes are taught at the Richmond, Illinois Village Hall. The Citizen’s Police Academy offers police the opportunity to show the public the police training process, advanced training requirements, operational procedures, tactics, and efforts to provide professional law enforcement.
The Citizen’s Police Academy is part of an ongoing effort to promote a cohesive partnership between the Richmond Police Department and the community it serves.