Citizen Police Academy

ISU Citizen Police Academy teaches citizens more about the law and how it is enforced. Classes meet Thursday eveninGs from  6 to 8:30 p.m. for eight weeks at the Armory.

Jared Raney

The citizen police academy has the answers for what ISU Police does.

“Our citizens’ police academy that we host at Iowa State University is a way for our department to give back to our community,” said Lt. Elliot Florer of ISU Police. “It strengthens the relationships that we have within our community so people have an idea of the things that we see and deal with in our jobs.”

The classes are 2.5-hour sessions once a week for eight weeks. The sessions cover driving a police car, executing a search warrant, learning defensive tactics, firearms training, Taser training, domestic violence issues and much more, according to the ISU Police website.

Stephanie Simbric, Story County Sexual Assault Response Team coordinator, went through the program in Spring 2008, shortly after she began working for ISU Police.

“I learned a lot. I learned the role of law enforcement, what they do, what they have to go through every day, the sacrifices they make to serve our community,” Simbric said. “I think it’s very applicable to anybody, whether you’re a staff person, faculty, [or] student.”

The training is open to anyone, although there is an application process and only 15 students are selected for each class.

“It’s a good mix of Powerpoint discussion, and then practical scenario-type training,” Florer said. “We’re going to put them in the role of an officer. Obviously they’re not armed, but just to show them what we deal with.”

ISU Police stresses that the program in no way certifies graduates for law enforcement. The goal of the sessions is to educate citizens on the reality of the police world.

“It educates citizens on the role of law enforcement and the process they go through to serve the community on a day-to-day basis,” Simbric said. “I think the better we can help our community understand what all goes into it, the more appreciation they’re going to have for law enforcement.”