Citizen's Police Academy
Accepting Applications: present - February
The concept of the Citizen Police Academy 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 Birmingham Police Department began its Citizens’ Police Academy in the mid 1990’s. Currently, there is only one academy class per year. 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 office of Community Policing and Revitalization in collaboration with the
Birmingham Police Department sponsors the Citizen’s Police Academy. The office of Community Policing and Revitalization 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 Birmingham Training Academy and facilities throughout the city. 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
Birmingham Police Department and the community it serves.