SFPD 'Citizens' Academy' gives inside look to the police - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SFPD 'Citizens' Academy' gives inside look to the police

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The police are looking for a few good men and women.

Sioux Falls Police opened up its annual Citizens Academy, Thursday.

KSFY News attended the first class of the training academy.

The Sioux Falls Police Citizens Academy offers an inside look at what it takes to be a police officer.

It's a time for the police department to build some good will and establish new relationships with the people of our community.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel says these citizens may be able to help them down the road.

Ron Brandt hears stories about law enforcement from friends but was curious to take a look behind the badge.

"I have friends who are police officers and people with DCI. every once in a while, you hear a few things. It's pretty interesting. I don't really know anything about how it all works out, so I'm hoping to find some of that out tonight," Brandt said.

Chief Barthel said the men and women who signed up for the citizens academy course will find out what it takes to become an officer

"They'll have a night where they might have a swat team come in, and go on different duties they're involved in. We might have bomb people, K9 officers, they'll meet with some of our crime scene investigators," Chief Barthel said.

Teacher Becky Stassi came to the academy to pay it forward.

"I have a few kids that are interested in law enforcement so in order to help them complete their dream, I'm educating myself to help them," Stassi said.

Stassi may inspire some of her students to join the force.

"I just want to gain some education so that when I have other students, even just the students I have, just to help them explore their vocational interests," Stassi said.

Chief Barthel hopes everyone who attends the academy will have a better understanding of law enforcement.

"When they do happen to hear something negative about police or maybe 911 or some mis-information , they can help sell it for us and correct them.  'Tell them 'no, that really isn't the way it is, because I know, I was there', "Chief Barthel said.

Barthel tells me this is the first year they are combining the Sioux Falls Police Department and Metro Communications.

As part of the course, people who signed up will even get to ride along with an officer or go to a shooting range.

Barthel believes the academy will help people see officers as human, like everyone else.

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