Denison kicks off its Citizen Police Academy

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DENISON, TX -- Denison kicked off its Citizen's Police Academy Tuesday night. The 12 week program gives people the chance to experience, firsthand, what it is like to be a police officer.

Fourteen Denison residents signed up for this year's Citizen Police Academy. Susan McGough is one of them. She signed up for the class to see what officers do on a day-to-day basis and learn how she can better serve her community.

"A lot of training, 33 hours it goes 12 weeks. So I'm really looking forward to it," McCough said.

Day one of class participants were introduced to Police Chief Jay Burch, met Officer William Deering and his K-9 Officer Ivar and Lt. Mike Eppler shared what they will learn in the coming weeks.

"We're going to learn a little bit about every department patrol, investigations, firearms," Eppler said.

Eppler says the class will even get to take a tour of the juvenile detention center, get hands-on firearm training and sit through a mock trial.

"It's exciting seeing people that want to be involved in it," Eppler said.

After the students graduate they will be able to join the Police Academy Alumni Association.

"They can ride out with officers, work inside in various different positions. Also help with basketball games, football games, parades any kind of special event that the police department does," Eppler said.

Mary Brice has been a member of the alumni association for more than five years.

"We are their helpers in that we help them in any way that we can no matter how large or small, and its just a wonderful way to get to know the citizens of Denison, to get to know the police department," Brice said.

Brice encourages anyone who can to go through the academy.
Eppler says the next course could come as early as this fall. To qualify for the academy you must have a clean background, live or work in the City of Denison, and be at least 18 years of age.