Television shows, movies and novels about law enforcement 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 community has created a Citizen's Academy that provides an in-depth look at how public safety agencies function.
The entities that have partnered to make Citizen's Academy a 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 sixth incarnation of this popular eight-week program will commence April 22. The classes meet on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Anyone with an interest in participating can obtain an application online at fortdodgeiowa.org. April 11 is the deadline to apply.
Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody has been the driving force behind this project. He told The Messenger recently that he remains delighted with the public response and said the mission of the academy is quite straightforward.
"As citizens, most of the information they have about public safety comes from TV and movies, and it gives unrealistic ideas about how public safety goes about its business," he said. "Citizen's Academy is a good opportunity for them to understand what it can be and what the responsibilities are."
The Messenger has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Citizen's Academy endeavor from the beginning. We urge local residents to give serious consideration to applying to be part of what will be an enlightening and enjoyable learning experience.