Special to the
The Opelika Citizens Police Academy Association (CPA) executive committee is inviting graduates of the program to join the association and get involved in the community.
The Opelika Police Department’s (OPD) Citizens Police Academy is held each spring. The initial class dates back some 18 years. The eight-week course is an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the OPD and hear and feel what they face every day. This interactive course gives participants a chance to get to know officers from every area of the OPD. Sessions cover patrol, traffic, investigations (detectives and narcotics), SWAT, K-9 officers and FATS (fire arms training simulator). There is no cost to take the course and upon completion, a graduation event is held. Those who complete the course have the opportunity to join the CPA alumni group.
“The Citizens Police Academy is a tremendous opportunity for residents who are interested in learning more about our police department to do that in an intensive, face-to-face course,” said Opelika Police Chief John McEachern. “They will learn about the duties and assignments and get real insight into law enforcement on a local level. Participants get some of the same training we do and participate in some of the same drills and simulations our officers take part in. They are also invited to sit with our dispatchers at the station and ride along with on-duty officers.”
The alumni group works tirelessly to give back to OPD police officers throughout the year. This group was formed two years ago and became an official 501c entity last year. Membership continues to grow. The goal of the alumni association is to help build and promote a strong police and community relationship, and to support and encourage the OPD throughout the year at events like the Fall Festival, Christmas Parade, Cops on Top, D.A.R.E. Summer Camp and more. The members also feed the officers at a variety of community events such as Opelika High football games and the Victorian Front Porch Tour.
McEachern encourages graduates to become part of the CPA association. Joining is easy. Simply visit the city’s website and join as a lifetime member or on a yearly basis. If people are interested in being a part of the 2019 CPA spring class or would like to make a financial donation to the foundation, visit their website.
“My team appreciates the support and love that the members show throughout the year,” McEachern said. “It’s nice to see a smiling, familiar face in the crowd during the good and bad. These folks are always there to extend a helpful hand and we are grateful.”
For more information, visit www.opelika-al.gov/676/Opelika-Citizens-Police-Academy-Alumni-A.