Three Things You Can Learn from the Rocky Mount Citizens' Police Academy

citizens police academy rocky mountForget what you've seen on "Law and Order."

Actual police work is more nuanced than what is seen on television or in movies, and it takes more than an hour to solve cases.

Rocky Mount citizens can get an in-depth look at the inner workings of the Rocky Mount Police Department through the Citizen's Police Academy. This behind-the-scenes work and community partnership is one reason that crime in Rocky Mount is at a 37-year low.

What is the Citizen's Police Academy?

The academy is designed to give civilians information and insight into the Rocky Mount Police Department. Through a variety of activities, the academy covers such topics as gang awareness, search and seizure and constitutional rights.

There are several useful things you can learn from the police academy. We've highlighted three:

  1. The Many Facets of Witness Testimony

  2. Do you understand what someone goes through when they are called upon to testify? What kind of questions will prosecutors and defense attorneys ask of them?  What makes a witness reliable or unreliable?

    Academy participants will have front row seats at a mock trial, breaking down all the elements of a prosecution. It's a perfect example of how real life differs from what you see on televisions.

    Citizens will actually take turns role-playing, answering and creating questions, to give them a feel for what goes on during a court hearing.

  3. What happens in the day in the life of a police officer?

  4. Citizens can join members of the Rocky Mount Police Department for "ride-alongs." During these excursions, participants learn the importance of community policing.

    Community policing centers around the concept that officers should understand and be familiar with the areas they protect. This includes getting to know residents and listening to their problems and concerns.

    Community policing is one of the many initiatives that helped Rocky Mount lower its crime rate.

  5. Firearms Training

    Perhaps even more important than the activities is the philosophy at the heart of the police academy. By getting to know local police officers, participants can serve as ambassadors, sharing their problems and concerns. Likewise, they will gain insight that they can use to educate others.

Want to Join the Citizen's Police Academy?

In order to participate, applicants must:
  • Be residents or work within the Rocky Mount city limits
  • Own a business within the city limits
  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Complete an application
  • Have a vested interest in the Rocky Mount community
  • Pass a criminal background check

The academy is offered in the spring and fall. For information, call 972-1436.

If interested in applying, you can download an online application for the citizen academy.
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