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The Kent Police Department is giving residents another chance to learn about the work law enforcement officers do on a daily basis with the creation of the city's third citizen police academy.
The department is seeking 20-30 city residents for 11 weekly classes beginning Feb. 7. Participants will learn about criminal investigations, crime prevention, drunk driving enforcement and the use of force, among other topics.
Class members will also be given the opportunity to participate in "ride-alongs" with Kent police officers and view police technology.
Lt. James Prusha said the department also hopes the academy will help clarify the difference between what law enforcement looks like on television and the what Kent police officers do in real life. He said the department viewed the first two citizens police academies, in the fall of 2011 and early this year, as successes in that regard.
"I think it helped to give community members a better understanding of what the police do," he said.
The department has announced it will not consider applicants who:
have employment pending at a law enforcement agency.
have a criminal history.
are under the age of 18.
live outside of the city of Kent.
Prusha said the department may be flexible on that last point if an applicant who works within the city of Kent but lives outside of city limits wants to apply for the academy.
Applicants also must submit to a background check and sign a release that will protect the city from a potential lawsuit if an applicant is injured during the academy.
Prusha said this academy will look very similar to the previous two, with a few small changes.
"We're going to keep the same model because everyone was pleased with the last academy," he said.
Interested residents can learn more about the academy and application process at http://www.kentpd.org/citizens-police-academy or call the Kent Police Department's administrative offices at 330-673-3221.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1126 or email@example.com