Wanted: Citizens Academy members

FDPD invites community to learn about public safety from behind the scenes

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Applications for the next Fort Dodge/Webster County Citizens Academy are now being accepted at the Fort Dodge Police Department. Forms are available to download and print online.

Those interested in learning more about law enforcement and public safety agencies in Fort Dodge and Webster County are encouraged to apply for the Fort Dodge/Webster County Citizens Academy.

Applications are now being accepted for the 15th class, which gives the public a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement and public safety agencies throughout Webster County.

Participating agencies include the Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa State Patrol, Webster County attorney’s office and Fort Dodge Fire Department, among others.

The eight-week class lasts from Sept. 4 to Oct. 23.

It meets Tuesday nights starting at 6 p.m. and going until 9 p.m.

Applications, which can be found online on the city of Fort Dodge’s website, are being accepted until Aug. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

A background check is required.

Topics of discussion include 911 communications, accident investigations, patrol operations, missing and exploited children, the court process, arson investigation, probation and parole and Webster County Crime Stoppers, among others.

Fort Dodge Police Chief Roger Porter said the class has many benefits for both law enforcement and the public, teaching the public what they may not know about public safety and giving the public safety agencies an idea of what they do know.

“It gives us a tool to show the community what we do,” Porter said, “not just the Police Department, but all the sister agencies involved in the justice system.”

In the past, Citizens Academy has helped answer questions the public has, as well as explain exactly what each agency does and its role in the community.

Porter added that it also helps create partnerships between public safety and the community.