BRPD’s Citizens Academy helping to bridge the gap within the community
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A select group of people are getting an up-close look at what it takes to become a police officer in Baton Rouge.
The Baton Rouge Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Citizens Academy offer a six-week course where citizens can learn about their daily operations and how they engage certain scenarios.
Officers say one of the most vital parts of the course is the firearm training, and teaching “shoot and don’t shoot” scenarios.
Amid a recent focus on police brutality and an apparent lack of trust with certain people in the public, officers feel this can help foster relationships and bridge the gap.
“It gives us an opportunity to build a relationship where we are creating a dialogue and they can have that dialogue to speak openly, freely, and share ideas at what they may consider is the problem that we’re faced with in our community,” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely.
Instructors say this gives them an opportunity to be transparent and offer insight that someone might not get anywhere else.
“You’re not coming out as police officers, but you’re learning more about what we do, why we do it, when we do it based off the data that we get, and the effort that we put forward in an attempt to make our community better,” said McKneely.
Here are the qualifications:
- Must be 18 years or older
- Must pass a background check
- No prior felony convictions
- No misdemeanor arrests within the last year
BRPD plans to hold a new class in Spring 2023. Applications can be picked up at the Baton Rouge Police Department in the lobby. Please submit your application along with a copy of your ID/Driver’s License.
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