The Pullman Police Department will host its second Citizen Academy beginning Feb. 3.
The program was designed in the wake of summer 2020. The department was encouraged to host a Black Lives Matter Summit, which evolved into a public safety summit, said Stephanie Rink, Pullman Police Advisory Committee chair.
During the summit, community members said they wanted to see an increase in transparency between Pullman PD and the rest of Pullman, she said.
The police department organized a similar academy previously in Pullman, said Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins.
The 11-week course consists of meetings from 6:30-9 p.m. every Thursday where officers and other Pullman PD staff present on varying topics, she said. The location has yet to be determined.
Topics include criminal law, criminal procedure, active shooters and use of force, Rink said.
“Participants can expect to learn everything basically A to Z from the Pullman Police Department,” she said. “You get a deep dive on what the police department does but also why there are certain things they do regarding laws and safety of officers.”
The course also works to help break down the barrier between officers, she said. Officers introduce themselves by sharing both their history at the department and hobbies outside of work.
Fifteen officers and staff are involved in the academy, Jenkins said.
Along with classroom sessions, the program includes an opportunity for a ride-along, firearms practical and mock crime scene clean up, he said.
Participants are expected to attend a minimum of 75% of meetings during their session, Rink said.
“I really would like people to know that the class is here,” she said. “It’s a great way for people to see what law enforcement does and understand that agencies are different from different cities. It’s a great way for people to see our department and our officers.”
Rink said she believes the academy can help diminish the stigmas surrounding law enforcement officers.
The class is meant for anyone in the community looking to gain a better understanding of Pullman PD, Jenkins said.
Anyone interested must submit an application, have a record clear of felonies and have a connection to the Pullman community, Rink said. Applications for the next session are due Friday.