Citizens' Academy

2021 Citizens’ Police Academy postponed

Jan. 11, 2021: The Durango Police Department is postponing the 2021 Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA) due to uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic. Durango police know community members support their police department and are interested in learning about how it operates. Unfortunately, holding the CPA during the typical March-May timeframe could make participants and instructors more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. 

The CPA is an interactive, 12-week class providing insight into the operation of the Durango Police Department and its role in keeping the community safe. Durango police find great value in the interactive classroom experience and are choosing to delay the class until fall 2021 when conditions may be favorable for in-person learning.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 CPA was canceled after only a few sessions. The Durango Police Department looks forward to when it can safely offer a full CPA session to 2020 participants and other community members interested in the class. Stay tuned for updates on this page and on social media. The department appreciates the community’s ongoing support and interest in this program.

Academy purpose

The Academy is a twelve-week program designed to provide residents of La Plata County (in an academy setting) first-hand information on how the Durango Police Department works. Participation in the Academy requires a commitment of one night a week for the twelve-week program. Classes are held from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Durango Emergency Communications Center, 221 Turner Drive.

The Academy is designed to increase understanding, through education, between citizens and police. Our intent is to acquaint citizens with law enforcement’s role in the criminal justice system, and to provide an increased understanding and overview of police work. As a caution, the Academy is not designed to make its participants certified police officers. The contents of the course are of an informative nature only and it is not intended that the participants have the authority of, or act as police officers.

Teachers

Instructors include members of the Durango Police Department who speak in their areas of expertise. Each has years of training and experience that they bring to the classroom.

Subjects

The sessions include information about domestic violence, gangs, patrol operations, traffic problems, community policing, tactical response and investigations, as well as a little history about where we are and where we are going. In one of the sessions, participants will have the option of firing several different weapons. They will also have the option of participating in an unarmed self-defense training session. Each participant will "ride along" in a patrol car to see first-hand what officers see and hear, and what they are trained to do in a variety of circumstances. Participants may spend time observing in the Central Communications Center and hear actual calls for service, as well as the dispatching of officers to those calls. Throughout the Academy, participants are encouraged to ask questions and discuss topics with members of the Department.

Selection Process

The Department seeks to fill each program with a cross section of community representation.

Applications

Citizens’ Police Academy Applications can be completed online or obtained at the Durango Police Department Lobby and by downloading an application online (PDF). Please return all applications to the Records Bureau.