Hemet residents who want a better understanding of police operations and how they can contribute to the safety of their community are invited to attend the Hemet Police Department’s inaugural “Citizen Academy,” which gets underway next month.

“During this 10-week academy, students will learn from department personnel, who are experts in the areas of patrol tactics, criminal investigations, SWAT, K-9, narcotics, gang task force, dispatch, traffic enforcement, use-of-force and other related fields,” Hemet police Sgt. Derek Maddox said. “All students will participate in practical demonstrations, simulators and a ride-along during the academy.”

The program begins Aug. 21 and will require a once-a-week commitment — every Wednesday evening — through the first week of November.

“Students will gain an overall knowledge of the Hemet Police Department, the structure and how we are organized, how we serve our community, and how we respond when citizens call for a police matter,” the sergeant said.

Most classes will be held at the agency’s main office, 450 E. Latham Ave.

Applications for admission to the academy are being accepted now. Maddox noted that applicants are required to undergo a background check prior to acceptance. About 15 people will be admitted, he said.

All attendees must be over 18 years old, and they cannot have felony convictions or unresolved criminal matters of any kind pending in court.

Anyone interested was encouraged to contact Maddox via email at dmaddox@cityofhemet.org, or call 951-765-2400.

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