Since 1994, the San Antonio Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy has educated hundreds of residents in the daily duties of a police officer.
The program, which runs for 11 consecutive weeks, allows participants to go through much of the same training a cadet or current officers would receive.
The class, which meets every Tuesday evening between 7 p.m.-10 p.m., tackles a new subject each week, ranging from federal traffic stops, stun gun use, tactical training, and much more.
“They thoroughly enjoy it. They enjoy the ride-alongs in particular,” said SAPD Patrol Officer Annalisa Diaz-Chavez, one of the instructors. “They get to participate in some of the programs, or see some of the training programs that we implement for cadets and sworn officers.”
Many law enforcement hopefuls enroll in the class, but Diaz-Chavez said they also see participants from all walks of life.
“We have teachers, we've had attorneys come through, bankers, and they're just very curious, and a lot of times, the reason they come here is word-of-mouth,” Diaz-Chavez said.
The program is free and open to the public, but interested participants must pass a background check to be accepted.