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Citizen Police Academy

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About the Citizen Police Academy

The Santa Cruz Police Department’s popular Citizen Police Academy offers city residents an inside look at aspects of law enforcement most have never seen, in a series of free lectures, demonstrations and discussions.

Participants meet one evening a week for 10 weeks at the Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room to learn and discuss how the police department operates, the requirements and duties of officers in various departments, and how law enforcement works with various judicial departments. There are guest speakers as well as an excursion to the 911 Call Center. Each session is facilitated by an expert in their field and participants are encouraged to ask questions for an engaging evening.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

• Learn how police investigations work
• Understand what our Traffic Section does
• Understand Current Gang identification, culture and colors
• Identify narcotics, drug paraphernalia and illegal drug usage
• Learn about firearms and shoot our weapons on the indoor range
• Observe a Police K-9 demonstration
• Drive an actual police car in a controlled high speed pursuit

Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in legal discussions with:

• A Superior Court Judge
• A representative from the District Attorney’s Office
• A Parole Agent from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
• A Santa Cruz County Probation Officer

“Why,” the Citizen Police Academy?

The Citizen Police Academy is an example of the philosophy of “community engagement and transparency,” that Police Chief Andrew Mills has set for the department and our city. “In order to be successful a strong sense of unity and shared purpose must exist between your police and our community. I challenge the community to help us create a city where our actions, policies and voices are united toward a goal of public safety and community improvement.”

For more information or to sign up for an upcoming class please contact:

Officer Leo Gomez at (831) 420-5952 or