WACO, Texas — The Waco Police Department is bringing back their bi-annual Citizens Police Academy this month. The 62nd class will begin on August 25 and introduce residents to different departments within Waco police.
"It's an opportunity to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement," Candace Ortiz with Waco police said.
The class brings in speakers on many topics including the crime scene unit, K-9 training, traffic stops and so much more.
"It's important to show the community why officers are doing what they are doing," Ortiz said. "They talk about what happens during a traffic stop, why swat gets called out, different things like that."
Just down the road, the Waco Fire Department recently started its own citizen academy.
"This is our second annual Citizens Fire Academy which benefits the city and Waco Fire Department with the citizens able to come in and see what we do in our day-to-day operations," Waco Fire Department's Keith Guillory said.
First responders say this is a great opportunity for people considering a career in that field, but also for anyone just wanting to better understand what they do.
"Fire service is a tax-based service," Guillory said of their program. "It allows the taxpayer to come in and see what the firefighters actually do, see how our equipment works and put on our gear and go inside burn chambers."
"It puts the person inside the shoes of an officer so you get to see how they have to make those last-minute decisions," Ortiz said.
Applications are open until August 12 for the Citizens Police Academy. It starts on August 25 and will be held every Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Citizens Fire Academyapplication is open until September 1. The class will be every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. starting September 15.