Citizen Police Academy in Gulfport

The Gulfport Police Department will allow locals to be in their shoes for the 2018 fall session of the Citizen’s Police Academy.

The academy consists of seven three-hour classes that will be held on Thursday at 6, starting September 20th. Getting involved in these sessions bridges the gap between the community and police officers on the Gulf Coast.

With the Gulfport community eager to learn about the life and daily routines of a police officer, Gulfport PD Community Relations Director Tiffany Neves wanted to start a program that benefits everyone in the City of Gulfport. “They just wanted to learn about what we do. It fosters that relationship to where they know what to do to help us out so we can do our jobs better.”

Therefore for the past few years, locals were encouraged to sign up for the free Citizen’s Police Academy, a program that gives citizens greater insight into police practices and services. Gulfport PIO Sgt. Clayton Fulks said, “They are going to see SWAT demonstrations, K-9 demonstrations, they will get a chance to go through some of the training that we do.”

The Gulfport Police Department is still accepting applications on a first come, first serve basis. “I have plenty of slots open. We try not to get more than 30, but I’ve got 13 slots still open,” said Neves.

It’s an opportunity for the community to converse with law enforcement with both sides working together, building a relationship on trust. “We like to do these citizen’s academies because it gives the community a chance to come get involved with the police department and to see what we do first-hand,” said Fulks.

“It shows them a side of police officers where they are not outside on the street having to be serious. They can be a little more calm and laid back and see who they are as people one on one,” said Neves.

You must be 18 years of age or older and have no prior felony convictions to apply for the academy.

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