WHAT IS IT?
The Houston Citizens’ Police Academy (HCPA) presents a look at the internal operations, values, and philosophy of the Houston Police Department. The HCPA is a 33-hour block of instruction designed to give the public a working knowledge of the hows and whys of the department, and the citizens’ roles in their interactions with the police. If you choose to participate, you will attend a series of classes held once each week for three hours. The instruction is comprehensive, covering a different area of the police department each week. Officers, supervisors and personnel assigned to that particular division conduct each instructional block.
WHO MAY ATTEND?
The HCPA is made of a cross section of Houston’s diverse community. Homemakers, laborers, professionals, students, ministers, and business, civic, and social leaders are encouraged to apply. The minimum age for enrollment is 17 and you must work or live in the City of Houston to be eligible to attend.
WHEN AND WHERE?
The HCPA is held twice a year. The next class begins Thursday, September 2, and will be held at Houston Police Department Headquarters, 1200 Travis, 77002, 22nd floor. The HCPA class meets every Thursday evening from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. for 11 weeks.
The Houston Citizens’ Police Academy was created to provide enough information to the citizens who attend so they may make informed judgments about the police department and police activity. Students are expected to share this realistic view of the department with other citizens to improve the efficiency of law enforcement in their neighborhoods. The department, in turn, becomes more aware of the feelings and concerns of the community from the participants’ interactions and inputs. It is a two-way learning experience.
The HCPA training includes emergency communications, crime prevention, family violence, vice, narcotics, bomb squad operations, hostage negotiation, S.W.A.T. team operations, shoot-don’t-shoot exercises, post shooting trauma, debriefing recognition, criminal prosecutions, homicide investigations, gang recognition, and juvenile crimes. Because of the importance of patrol operations in policing, a ride-along with a police officer is mandatory. Instruction in these and other topics will consist of lectures, demonstrations, tours and hands-on learning.
If what you’ve read above interests you and you want to apply, then go to the Houston Police Department web site; www.houstonpolice.org. On the homepage, click the “Join Us” link in the top middle of the page, choose the Citizens’ Police Academy button, and then click ‘Download Application.’ Complete the application and mail to: Houston Police Department, 1200 Travis, Houston, Texas 77002, Attention Officer Stephanie Watson-Owens, Public Affairs Division, 21st floor. The deadline for submitting your application is Friday, August 27. The class fills up fast, so the sooner you can get your application in, the better. If you have a question, please call Officer Watson at 713-308-3200.