Applications now being accepted. The program put on by PCSO, CPD and Polk County TRIAD is free.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Crookston Police Department, in cooperation with Polk County TRIAD, will be conducting a Law Enforcement Citizens’ Academy beginning January 15, 2020. All eight sessions will be held Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., ending on March 4.
The information letter, application, and consent form can be found on the Polk County Sheriff’s Office webpage: https://www.co.polk.mn.us/221/Sheriffs-Office. Or, you can pick up the necessary documents at the PCSO and CPD.
There is no charge to participate.
So what exactly is a law enforcement citizens’ academy (LECA)?
It’s opportunity for citizens to learn and become familiar with the daily operations of the PCSO and CPD. Participants will gain a better understanding of the procedures, responsibilities, demands, personnel, equipment, policies and laws that guide and govern the department’s activities and decisions on a daily basis. Participants will become more informed of the actual role of law enforcement in the criminal justice system.
Those attending the academy will be involved in actual training sessions and will leave with a broader understanding of the law enforcement function in today’s world. The hope is that participants will develop an understanding of law enforcement and will be able to formulate responsible conclusions concerning law enforcement activities.
LECA applicants must meet the following criteria: 1) Live, work or attend school in the city of Crookston or be a resident of Polk County, 2) Be at least 18 years old, 3) Have no felony convictions, and 4) have no serious misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions within three years of application. Applicants will be subject to a background and criminal history check. The CPD and PCSO reserve the right to waive or modify any criteria and may deny an applicant for any reason.
The location of the classes will primarily be at the PCSO but will vary depending on the topic(s) of instruction. Students will receive approximately 24 hours of instruction from licensed law enforcement officers and other experts related to criminal justice. The last session will include a graduation ceremony for those who successfully complete the Academy.
LECA topics will include information of the PCSO and CPD, the department’s structure and staffing, an overview of the criminal justice system, requirements to be a licensed officer, Uniform Patrol including vehicles, equipment, traffic stops, and radar. Also included are the topics of use-of-force, Taser, firearms, less lethal munitions, investigations, drug task force, School Resource Officer, Mounted Posse, Crookston Police Reserve Program, SWAT, Crisis Negotiation Team, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), Polk County TRIAD and tours of the PCSO, CPD, Dispatch Center, Jail, and the Justice Center.
The CPD and PCSO believe by educating the public, the residents will have the knowledge and understanding necessary to make informed opinions and decisions on law enforcement matters. The agencies also believe the Academy will help to establish and maintain open communication with the public that’s necessary for the betterment of our communities. The hope is that Academy graduates will take this newly acquired knowledge out into their communities, educate others when the opportunity arises, and they will make informed decisions which affect the future of both departments by having a heightened awareness of law enforcement. Additionally, graduates become another set of eyes and ears to observe and report crimes and other suspicious activities throughout our area.