For over 20 years the City of Missoula Police Department has offered the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, and they are now taking applications for the 2020 academy.

Interim Police Chief Mike Colyer explained the program.

“The next session will begin in early January,” said Colyer, the acting chief until a new leader is chosen by city officials. “They run on Wednesday nights for about eight weeks from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s a really good way for people from all walks of life to see and hear about the services we provide. We’ll have some really interesting hands-on activities for the participants.”

Colyer was more specific about what the participants in the academy will learn.

“Each of our divisions is highlighted; the administrative division, the patrol division and the detective division will all have their own nights,” he said. “We also talk about special teams such as SWAT negotiators, the K-9 program, we talk about our community service specialists and quality of life that do a lot of work in a less public way, but it really helps people with their day-to-day minor issues.”

Colyer said there will be special activities on the final day.

“The last day we’ll have a hands-on program down at the City Hall where we introduce the police dogs, we do some crime scene work and it always gets rave reviews, and it keeps new people coming back for more.”

Colyer said there is no charge for the academy, but he asks that participants make a commitment to attend as many classes as possible, as there is high demand, and only 30 individuals are chosen each year.

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