By 1808Delaware

The Westerville Division of Police (WPD) is once again inviting the public to step behind the blue line through its Citizen Police Academy (CPA). This initiative aims to demystify police operations and foster a deeper understanding between law enforcement and the community it serves. With two in-person, 12-week sessions on the 2024 calendar, the CPA offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of police work.

A Deep Dive into Policing

Set against the backdrop of the Westerville Justice Center, the CPA sessions are scheduled to unfold every Thursday evening from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM. The program kicks off its first session on March 21, offering participants a comprehensive overview of the multifaceted nature of law enforcement. From organizational structures and drug investigations to tactical units and community engagement strategies, the curriculum is designed to enlighten civilians on the critical role police play in maintaining public safety.

The academy is not just a passive learning experience; it encourages active participation. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in mock building searches, simulate traffic stops, and understand the complexities of the “Use of Force” policy among other hands-on activities. This immersive approach is aimed at providing a real-world perspective on the challenges and responsibilities that come with policing.

Students are instructed on topics including:

  • Organizational Structure
  • Drug Investigation
  • Traffic Enforcement
  • Patrol Operations and equipment
  • Crime Prevention 
  • Community Engagement
  • “Use of Force” Policy 
  • Animal Control
  • Communications “9-1-1” center
  • Officer Training 
  • Search and seizure
  • Community Programs
  • Tactical Unit/SWAT 
  • Recruitment/Hiring process

Students also participate in the following activities:

  • Mock building searches
  • Simulated traffic stops

Community First

A cornerstone of the CPA is its inclusivity. Open to anyone over the age of 18, the program is particularly keen on welcoming residents and workers from the City of Westerville. While the academy is free, it does have a selection process in place to ensure the integrity of the program, including checks on applicants’ criminal records and driving status. This careful vetting process underscores the division’s commitment to creating a safe and constructive learning environment for all participants.

The rationale behind the CPA is twofold: not only does it seek to inform the public about the intricacies of law enforcement, but it also values the insights and concerns that citizens bring to the table. By fostering this two-way exchange, the WPD hopes to build stronger, more informed community ties.

A Call to Action

The Westerville Division of Police is extending an open invitation to those interested in contributing to and learning from this unique program. It’s an opportunity not just for education, but for empowerment, as graduates are encouraged to share their newfound knowledge within their communities, thereby enhancing public safety and awareness.

For those eager to embark on this enlightening journey, applications are now open. The program’s success hinges on the community’s willingness to engage, learn, and collaborate with law enforcement to create a safer, more unified Westerville.

Interested individuals can find more information and apply through the official Westerville Police website or by contacting the Community Services Bureau at or (614) 901-6860.

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