Citizen's Academy classes focus on police operations, decisions

The Bellingham Police Department is accepting applications for its 2013 Citizen’s Academy, a 10-week program designed to teach local residents more about the department’s operations.

Participants will have opportunities to meet the men and women who serve as police officers, and receive insight into the daily decisions they must make and the reasons behind those decisions, according to the department.

The academy includes courses on: firearms, patrol procedures, SWAT, use of force, investigations, narcotics, K-9, traffic enforcement.

There will also be tours of the local jail and the dispatch center.

Citizens applying for the academy must be 18 or older, and live or work in Bellingham. Participation includes a commitment to attend all the training sessions.

Winter classes will start Tuesday, Feb. 5, concluding on Tuesday, April 9.

Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. in the Bellingham Police Department’s Training Room.

Applicants must complete a background check prior to enrollment.

There is no cost to participate in the Citizens Academy.

Applications are available online.

The completed application along with a copy of the applicant driver’s license need to be mailed no later than Dec. 14 to: Sergeant Danette Beckley c/o Bellingham Police Department, 505 Grand Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225,

For more information, contact Sergeant Beckley at 360-778-8684 or

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