Rome, Utica police to offer civilian academics
To help with both transparency and public accountability, both the Rome and Utica police departments will host citizen’s police academies in the new year — helping to provide opportunties for residents to learn about how the departments protect and serve their communities.
The deadlines to apply for the civilian academies are this month.
The deadline to apply for the Rome Police Department civilian police academy — the department’s first in several years — is Friday, Dec. 16.
The deadline to apply for the Utica Police Department civilian academy — which have taken place annually with an exception for the COVID-19 pandemic years — is Friday, Dec. 9.
Both academies are open to members of the public over the age of 18. Each academy will require a background check of applicants in order for individuals to be accepted. Both academies are free to join and, officials say, will provide a comprehensive look into how the departments — and their officers — operate.
“With the increase in the demand for transparency…we’re happy to hold another citizen’s police academy,” said Utica Police spokesperson Sgt. Michael Curley. “The response we’ve had from the community is very positive.”
A citizen’s police academy is a weekly class about the ins and outs of a police department and the work they do, often taught by police officers themselves. The civilian academies are not programs to become active duty police officers and are mainly informational.
The academy instructors teach participants such topics as patrol operations, professional standards, crime scene investigations, juvenile aid, SWAT operations and the laws that dictate police policy and operations.
“We think it’s good for transparency and community involvement,” said Rome Police spokesperson Lt. Sharon Rood.
She said people should apply “if you want to have more knowledge about policing and how it works. We’re not scary, we’re everyday community members. And sometimes we need the community’s help.”
The Rome academy will meet every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. between Jan. 11 and March 22. Applications are available at the Rome Police Department at 301 N. James St.
The Utica academy will meet every Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. between Jan. 9 and March 6. Applications are available at the department’s webpage at www.CityofUtica.com.
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