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Citizens Academy shouldn’t be missed

Learn how law enforcement and public safety agencies work in real world

Television shows, movies and novels about law enforcement and public safety agencies have been successful for decades. That’s strong evidence that a great many Americans are fascinated by this aspect of our modern world.

Here in Webster County, however, local residents have an opportunity to gain firsthand, real-world knowledge about the organizations and men and women who keep our communities safe. The local law enforcement and public safety community has created the Fort Dodge/Webster County Citizens Academy. The mission of this exceptional program is to provide a detailed look at how public safety agencies function.

The entities that have partnered to make Citizens Academy a tremendous success are the Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa State Patrol, Fort Dodge Fire Department, Webster County attorney’s office, the Iowa court system, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and other key parts of the Hawkeye State’s criminal justice system.

The latest incarnation of this popular eight-week program will commence March 28 and run through May 16. The classes will meet on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Anyone with an interest in participating can obtain an application online at the Fort Dodge Police Department’s official Facebook page or the city’s website (fortdodgeiowa.org). Applications must be dropped off at the Fort Dodge Police Department no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 17.

Assistant Fort Dodge Police Chief Roger Porter told The Messenger in February that the class will remain much the same as previous sessions. It will provide an in-depth look at various local public safety agencies. Each class has a different topic and brings in relevant officials and experts to discuss their jobs and what they do to help protect Fort Dodge and Webster County.

Porter encouraged those interested in taking part to get their applications in as soon as possible since the class fills up quickly. Since classes are limited to 20 to 25 participants, it is not unusual for there to be a waiting list. For those who don’t get into the spring class, Porter said they will be put on a waiting list for the fall session.

The Messenger has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Citizens Academy endeavor since it began a bit more than five years ago. We urge local residents to give serious consideration to applying to be part of what will be an enlightening and enjoyable learning experience.

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