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Six spots left to fill in Citizens Police Academy

August 19, 2011

  The Hagerstown Police Department has six spots left to fill for its Citizens Police Academy. The 12-week, 15-class course begins Tuesday, Aug. 23, and ends with graduation on Nov. 8.

"The purpose of the course is to teach the community what municipal police work is all about," said Officer Gerard Kendle, director of the Citizens Police Academy. "Police don't do it alone; we need the citizen's help. When we educate the citizens, everybody wins!"

Academy participants will get an inside look at police operations, including criminal investigations, arrest procedures, civilian emergency response training, firearms safety, and K-9 demonstrations.

"It's a great opportunity to see what police deal with every day," said John Chance, a retired law enforcement officer and a two-time participant in the  academy. "I think more people have respect for the police when they take the class. You see a range of operations from some fun experiences to the serious stuff."

The program is open to anyone 18 and older. Police perform a routine background check on applicants for the course prior to acceptance.

"I have had everyone from age 18 to 80 in the course," Kendle said. "Participants can live, work or play in Washington County."

The course is taught by several  instructors from across the many divisions within the city police department. Classes are usually on Tuesday evenings, with three classes held on Saturday. The course will begin with a "Meet the Chief" session with Police Chief Arthur Smith, and will wrap up 12 weeks later with graduation during a mayor and city council meeting at the city of Hagerstown council chambers.

Applications are available at HPD Headquarters at 50 N. Burhans Blvd. and online at

For more information, call Kendle at 301-790-3700, ext. 308, or email

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