September 20, 2017
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There's still time to sign up for the next Citizen's Academy

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
August 25, 2017

The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety will be hosting another Citizen’s Academy this fall, giving the public a hands on learning experience to better understand the role and function that the department plays in the community. Since the Department of Public Safety in Rohnert Park handles both police and fire, participants in the program get an inside look at both law enforcement and fire protection.

“It a great opportunity for the community to get involved in public safety and learn exactly what we do,” says Catherine Colburn, Administrative Assistant for the Director of Public Safety. “It’s a good program to offer the community.”

The citizen’s academies have been running off and on since 1997, usually twice per year in the fall and winter. The next academy, which runs from September 11 to November 13, will focus on 24 different subject areas. The classes begin with a tour of the department and subjects include the department’s philosophy, community policing, defensive tactics, impaired driving, identity theft, gang awareness, communications, the animal shelter, investigations, narcotics, hazardous materials, emergency medical services, fire prevention and suppression and more. The classes meet every Monday evening for ten weeks and conclude with an optional CPR training and certification.

The academy classes are interactive and are taught by sworn and civilian public safety personnel of the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety. The maximum number of participants allowed is 25 and generally the classes are well attended, averaging about 20 to 25 people per session. Applicants are first screened for eligibility and so far the department has seen a wide mix of participants, ranging from younger people intent on establishing a career in public safety, to working professionals and older retired individuals simply interested in the role the department of public safety plays in the community.

According to Colburn, the academy is also a great introduction for individuals wanting to get into the PSA (Police Services Aide) volunteer program.

Eligible participants must be a resident of Rohnert Park, be a minimum of 18 years old and have no criminal conviction that would prohibit possession of a firearm. Any eligible individuals who do not make it into this session are put on a waiting list for the next available class.

“People are interested in what we do and this is an area where they can come and learn about all the different facets of public safety,” says Colburn.

For more information or to request an application, contact the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Headquarters, located at 500 City Center Drive in Rohnert Park, call 584-2650, or download an application at www.rpcity.org.