Waterford Police Holding Citizens Police Academy

2014 Waterford Police Citizen's Academy is now accepting applications.

What is the Citizen Police Academy?

The Citizen Police Academy is designed to give citizens a better understanding of what police officers do every day. The popular program provides insight into the philosophy, internal values, and operations of the department. The academy’s ultimate goal: to improve the relationship and rapport between citizens and the Waterford Police. The program also gives citizens the opportunity to interact with officers, ask questions, and express any concerns they might have. This two-way communication has proven to be an effective, successful way to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Citizen Police Academy.

Who is eligible to attend?

The class is made up of a cross section of the Waterford community. You can apply if you are at least 18 years old and live or work in the Waterford area. This academy is NOT designed strictly for those wishing to become police officers.  The last two years, we have had those 18 years of age to those in their 80’s.  Class size is limited to 25 students.

How much does it cost to attend?

There is no cost to attend the Citizen Police Academy!  The costs will be covered by local sponsors. (to be announced when finalized)  However, the course does require a substantial time commitment from the participant. During the 11-week program, participants will receive approximately 33 hours of instruction. Participants will not be allowed to graduate if they miss more than three sessions.

Where are the classes held?

The academy is held on Tuesday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Training Room in the Waterford Police Department. (starting on March 11th)  The Police Department is located at 41 Avery Lane, Waterford, Connecticut. 

What is the curriculum at the Citizen Police Academy?

A wide variety of topics are included in the Citizen Police Academy to include Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Traffic, accident investigations, Domestic Violence, DUI, Drugs, Police Profiling, Life at the Police Academy, Juvenile Crimes and many more. Instruction consists of lectures, demonstrations, tours, and practical application. Participants will see a K9 demo, a Taser demo and have the ability to learn defensive tactics to include use of a police baton.  The instructors, whom all volunteer their time, include department officers, civilians, supervisors, dispatchers and administrators.

What is the benefit of attending the course?

The role of Police has always been an interest to the average citizen. The television media has capitalized upon this curiosity with shows such as “Cops”, “America’s Most Wanted”, and “Stories of the Highway Patrol”. Each week, real police action is broadcast into the living rooms of millions of Americans.

Numerous police agencies have also benefited from the curiosity that citizens have about the police.  These agencies have formed Citizen Police Academy programs that create an expansion of their community based efforts. These programs are intended to open the lines of communication between the community and the police department. Generally, the relationship between the police and the citizen is one of “love/hate”.  To the citizen, it may frequently appear that the police are not doing their job or are exceeding their boundaries. By allowing citizens a firsthand look at what rules, regulations and policies the police follow, some of the misunderstanding may be alleviated.

The objective of the Citizen Police Academy is not to train an individual to be a “Reserve Police Officer” but to produce informed citizens. The citizens and police officers meet each other face to face in a neutral, friendly setting and each becomes a person to the other.  In the past, citizens have simply seen a uniform, now they have an understanding about the person behind the badge.  Participants will also become eligible to do “ride-alongs” with patrol officers.

How do I apply?

The easiest way to apply is to go to the Waterford Police Department website and click the link on the front page.  You may also come into the Waterford Police Department and apply in person.

*Those that are selected to attend will be notified by email or phone at the end of February*

Again, class is limited to 25 participants and we ensure a diverse group in age, gender and life experience.


Sgt. Marc Balestracci is the contact point for the Citizen’s Academy.  He can be reached at 860-442-9451 or by email at:


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