The Waxahachie Police Department is providing residents a first-hand look into how law enforcement operates. The department is taking applications for the next class of Citizens Police Academy that will start Sept. 27.

Waxahachie Police officer OT Glidewell stated the class answers a lot of questions residents have about how law enforcement functions in the community.

“The academy we will do a lot of practical and hands-on scenarios and training,” Glidewell said. “The whole goal of the academy is to show and teach people not only how we do things, but why we do things.”

Glidewell stated the academy would teach students how to perform their duties under the law and what is considered common standards in the industry.

Classes will be held from 6-8 p.m. every Thursday for eight weeks starting Sept. 27. During the course, students will learn a wide variety of topics that range from patrol functions, crime scene procedures, firearm safety, dispatch, canine exercises, and SWAT. An expert who is certified in that field of study will teach each class.

Glidewell stated many of these classes would give students hands-on learning opportunities as an instructor guides them through the lesson.

“We are going to have a crime scene investigation night,” Glidewell said. “We are going to set up a crime scene and let the citizens process the scene to show them what we look for during an investigation, and why it is important to document evidence and log evidence a certain way.”

Some of the new topics covered this year are going to be the use of drones in law enforcement and firearm safety.

“Police work in 2018 is getting pretty advanced and sophisticated. We try to utilize the drone for everything from locating suspects to silver alerts,” Glidewell said. “If we have an elderly person that we are looking for in a wooded area we can take pictures and log areas.”

Glidewell explained the firearm safety class is not a license to carry course. It shows students basics of how to handle firearms safely, and how to clean them.

People interested in the Citizens Police Academy can contact Glidewell by email at oglidewell@waxahachiepd.org. The class is open to all residents of Ellis County at no cost. Applicants will have to go through a basic background check. Classes will be held at the new Waxahachie Police Department building located at 630 Farley Street.

For additional information about the Citizens Police Academy staff at the department can be reached at 469-309-4400.