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Citizens Academy improves community
HPD-sponsored classes promote relationship between police, residents
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It’s a two-way street; citizens want police protection and police want citizens’ help in preventing crime.

To learn what police officers do and how to help them protect the community, residents can sign up for the next Citizen’s Academy sponsored by the Hinesville Police Department.

“We want more citizens involved,” HPD Cpl. Joseph Madison said.

Madison is coordinating the course, which will consist of 10 two-hour sessions and two two-hour ride-alongs beginning Aug. 2. Citizen’s Academy classes will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays at the police department on MLK Drive in Hinesville. There is no charge for the course.

Those interested in taking the class can sign up from now until the last week in July. Madison said there currently are 25 slots available for the class.

Academy instructors will cover police department structure, administrative operations, criminal law and investigation, community policing, patrol operations, traffic investigations, training and support and law-enforcement communications, according to an HPD release.

To be eligible for the course, participants must be at least 18 years old, live in Hinesville and have no criminal record.
“The biggest thing is the police-citizens relationship,” Madison said. “We want the citizens to know we are there for them. “Most of the crime prevention is through (citizens),” he continued. “A lot of burglaries are called in by citizens. And we are successful in catching (thieves) when the citizens do call.”

Madison said this year the department will discuss K-9 operations to the class, particularly informing them of K-9 dogs’ work in drug searches and picking up the scent of suspects. The HPD has two K-9 officers and dogs, he said.

The academy typically is held in March and August, Madison said. Six residents graduated from the most recent HPD Citizens Academy, he said.

For more information, call 368-8211.

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