Duluth Police Resuming Citizen Academy
DULUTH, Minn. – After taking a few years off due to the pandemic, the Duluth Police Department is resuming its Citizen Police Academy. Those who signed up for 2021 were given first chance to take part in 2022, and they are looking for about a dozen more people to join when it gets underway March 9.
The academy gives people a chance to learn more about what the daily operations of the department are like. It includes both classroom instruction and some of the field training officers do when they join the force. That includes a ride along with traffic stops and firing range practice.
“Our citizens get to come,” says Chief Mike Tusken, “they get to have relationships with our cops. They get to ask questions. They get to understand our operations.”
Chief Tusken adds the academy helps the public understand why they operate with certain practices and procedures, busting some of the myths that pop culture creates when portraying law enforcement. “We know if we watch crime shows on TV (and) what happens, we can solve a crime in 50 minutes with commercials. The reality is they understand a lot of the work we do is investigations, and we show them about evidence and what the practices are. They have a better understanding of what takes so long for us to investigate a case, certainly prosecute a case.”
The academy also helps the department in their efforts to maintain their relationship with the public they serve. “And then in turn, our best advertisement for this is those citizens,” says Chief Tusken. “Our reviews that we do at the end of it are very, very highly scored and regarded, because people always learn something about the policing, about this police department that they did not understand previous to coming here.
Academy classes will take place every Wednesday evening starting March 9 and running through May 25. Those interested can sign up at Duluth Police’s website.