Civilians training to be the eyes and ears for Metro police - WSMV News 4

Civilians training to be the eyes and ears for Metro police

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Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson welcomes participants of the Citizens Police Academy. (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department) Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson welcomes participants of the Citizens Police Academy. (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

They are civilians, men and women for all walks of life, but by the end of the summer, they will become an integral part of keeping Nashville safe.

The summer session of the popular Citizen Police Academy had its first class on Monday. People who enroll in the classes are committed to a twelve-week course.

During the three months they will learn about police work, through the perspective of a variety guest speakers.

Topics will include gangs, narcotics enforcement, domestic violence, traffic/DUI enforcement and the judicial process.

Since the program began in the late 1990s, 1,700 people have blocked out 12 weeks of their time to learn what an officer faces day in and day out.

They then go into their neighborhoods and become the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said what these folks do once they graduate from the course helps in lowering Nashville's crime rate.

"If you go back to 1997, there were almost 60,000 Part One crimes, murders, robberies, all the way down to shoplifting, in the past years, we are in the low 30s,” said Anderson. “So 1997, when we started doing proactive police work, not waiting for a call, but going out there in the community, involving the community, has made a difference.”

The Citizen Police Academy does not make a participant a certified law enforcement officer, nor is it designed to train citizens to perform law enforcement duties.

If you want to participate in the Citizen Police Academy, call the department’s CPA coordinator at 615-943-2110.

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