The Waxahachie Police Department will host a citizens police academy in September, providing participants a better understanding of how the agency functions.

Classes are taught by members of the department and other law enforcement agencies.

Detective Ron Clayton will teach a lesson on how criminal investigations are done and the role a detective plays in the department. Students will have a hands-on opportunity to learn how to dust for and lift fingerprints. Returning to teach is Department of Public Safety trooper Ricky Barber, who will talk about the role canines play in law enforcement.

Waxahachie community relations officer Wess Winn said students who complete the class can become a part of citizens on patrol, which has no law enforcement authority but reports what is observed to dispatch through cell phones. No one is to confront while on patrol, Winn said, saying the group acts as an extra set of eyes for the department and also assists at different community events such as National Night Out.

The 10-week citizens police academy will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. every Thursday, Sept. 22 through Dec. 1, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Nov. 24. The class meets in the conference room at the Water Treatment Plant at 1900 Howard Road.

Applications are available at the police department located at 216 N. College St or online at www.waxahachiepd.org. There is no cost to participate in the class but a background check will be performed on each applicant. The class size is limited to 15-20 students.

For more information about the citizens police academy, contact Winn at wwinn@waxahachiepd.org.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1451.