The Midlothian Police Department will host its fall session of Citizen's Police Academy from 6-9 p.m. every Thursday from Sept. 5–Nov. 21 at the department, 1150 N. U.S. Highway 67, Suite 300 in Midlothian.

This free, 33-hour academy will provide Midlothian area residents age 14 and older an education and valuable insight into the law enforcement that protect their city. During the 11-week course, officers from the department will instruct citizens in several areas including, law, crime prevention, patrol, investigations, traffic, crime scene, patrol operations, departmental procedures and lethal/non-lethal firearms training and orientation.

“[CPA] provides individuals with the opportunity to know the officers that patrol their streets, and gain a perspective about the passion they have to serve. These classes give us the opportunity to show that law enforcement really does take on a public service perspective and isn’t just an occupying military force,” Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith said. “People can also have the chance to ask all the questions they’ve ever wanted to know, and we can correct all of the falsities that television shows create about law enforcement.”

Through these classes, residents will have the opportunity to tour the jail, receive hands-on teaching about radar/lidar guns and traffic stops, investigate a mock crime scene, hear a presentation on the August 2006 Midlothian shooting incident and be introduced to the department's K-9 unit and police dogs.

CPA alumni Tom and Ramey Hutson said they always looked forward to the next session and were impressed by the instructors’ knowledge.

“I was blown away by the instructors,” Tom said. “They got us excited about the subject, and you could tell they really knew about the subject and presented it professionally. I learned a lot more than I expected about the inner workings of the police department and what they face on a daily basis.”

“I was impressed to learn about everything they do for the community, and they shared their personal experiences,” Ramey added.

The first session will serve as a meet and greet between citizens and the department’s administration, which includes Chief Carl Smith, Commanders Don Cole, John Spann and Garland Wolf.

“CPA is also about empowering the people to voluntarily assist law enforcement in their own community,” Smith said.

Many graduates of CPA go on to participate in volunteer service such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) or support the department as CPA alumni.

Citizens who want to make better decisions about how to protect themselves, their families and their business, or understand law enforcement strategies and provide leadership in other areas of their community are encouraged to attend the citizen’s police academy.

Enrollment is open to citizens who live or work in Midlothian, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult to training sessions.

For those interested in enrolling in the academy, CPA applications can be found on the Midlothian Police Department section of the city's website. Visit www.midlothian.tx.us and click on the “Police Department” link under the “Departments” tab, then click the “Citizens Police Academy” link on the left. Applications can also be picked up at the police department. Completed applications should be returned by mail or in person to the police station.

For more information about Midlothian’s CPA, contact Billy Seals at 972-775-7611.