The Park City Police Department wants you . . . to participate in the Citizen Police Academy.
The Police Department's annual program is accepting applications for its sixth year. Applications are due by April 14, and they are considered on first-come, first-served basis. The 11-week program meets on Wednesdays starting on May 7. The sessions last from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Park Avenue police station. One Saturday session will be scheduled to learn about use-of-force policies and to visit a range to shoot guns police officers are issued.
The Citizen Police Academy introduces participants to a wide range of law enforcement issues. Some of the topics that will be covered in the weekly sessions include traffic stops, crime scenes, investigations, the related issues of gangs and graffiti and dispatch. Other topics could include drugs, driving under the influence, vehicle searches, arrests and patrols.
Law enforcement personnel will address the sessions. Terry Knechtel, a Park City police officer who organizes the Citizen Police Academy, said representatives from the Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Park City Fire District will address the group. An outside agency will teach the group about police dogs.
"I think it will answer some questions and probably clear up misconceptions they see on TV and movies" and through personal observations, Knechtel said.
He said some past participants have later served on the Offender Review Board, a panel involved with people on parole or on probation who live locally.
Someone cannot be absent more than twice to complete the program. Light physical activity may be required, but it would not be strenuous, an information sheet describing the program says.
The program accepts between 15 and 20 people annually, Knechtel said. There are normally between 15 and 20 applications, he said.
Someone must be a U.S. citizen to participate and must pass a criminal background check. Minor traffic violations will not make someone ineligible, the information sheet indicates.
Participants must also be at least 18 years old and a resident of Park City or Summit County. They must sign a waiver.
For more information, contact Knechtel through police dispatchers. The number is 615-5500. More information and applications are available on City Hall's website, www.parkcity.org. Select the 'Police Department Citizen Academy' link under the News section of the front page.
Return completed applications to the Park Avenue police station or mail them to Knechtel. The address is:
Park City Police Department
Attention officer Terry Knechtel P.O. Box 1480
Park City, UT 84060-1480