The classroom discussions aren't conventional, with topics ranging from gangs to current issues facing police departments, but the High School Citizens Police Academy allows students to relate to law enforcement officers.
``Basically, this is an opportunity to learn about the police department, and why we do what we do,'' said Matt Sarna, a spokesman for the department.
The five-week academy for Free State High School and Lawrence High School students begins Nov. 17. It was first offered by the police department last year. Applications are available through school resource officers Larry Hamilton (LHS) and Brian Jimenez (FSHS) and are due Oct. 23. The academy is limited to 30 students and will be in the basement of the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th.
Police officers and administrators will teach classes, and Chief Ron Olin will oversee the current events section. Sarna said the instructors will be available to answer questions during a panel discussion.
Drug and crime scene investigations, traffic stops and other topics will be featured, he said.
The academy will conclude with a graduation ceremony on Dec. 15. All classes will be from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Students who completed the class last year gave the academy a passing grade, but requested more hands-on demonstrations, Sarna said. The students will take a tour of the Law Enforcement Center and meet outside for a traffic stop demonstration.
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.