Stephenville Chief of Police Jason King and Sgt. Sha King have announced the dates of this year’s Citizen Police Academy.

Classes will be held on Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. for 10 weeks from Aug. 25 through Nov. 3.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 12.

So what is the CPA? According to information provided on the SPD website: “The Stephenville Police Department Citizen Police Academy is a 30-hour block (10 Weeks) of instruction designed to give the public a working knowledge of the Stephenville Police Department's personnel and policies.

“The instruction is comprehensive, covering a different area of the police department each week. Officers, supervisors and personnel assigned to that particular division conduct each instructional block.

“The Stephenville Citizen Police Academy covers such diverse topics as training, communications, criminal investigations, DWI procedures, crime prevention, family violence, juvenile law, and the special response team. Emphasis is placed on the patrol division as that is the segment of the police department the public most often comes into contact with. Instruction in these and other topics will consist of lectures, demonstrations, tours, and hands-on experiences.”

“We had a very good turnout from citizens for the academy last year and we’re hoping to repeat that this year," Chief King said. "We have great support from the community and hope to see that continue. The Citizen Police Academy is an important component in helping us sustain that support.”

There were five Dallas police officers killed and seven wounded in the line of duty in Dallas last week and Chief King said, “With things the way they are right now, we feel that this interaction between the police department and the citizens of Stephenville is more important than ever so we hope people will come to the academy and get to know us better as people and learn about some parts of our jobs they might not be aware of.”

Sgt. King added, “It’s also a way for people to see if maybe a career in law enforcement might be right for them. We have three officers here now who have come to our department through the Academy: James Gresham, Virginia Armendariz, and Erick Borjon.”

It might be of interest that this reporter was a member of last year’s CPA and recommends the experience highly. It’s not just educational and informative, it’s also a lot of fun, and the officers and staff at SPD’s Citizen Police Academy went out of their way to make it that way.

Even better, they feed you dinner at the beginning of each class.

By the way, there’s no charge to attend.

If you’re interested in applying, you can fill out an application with the Stephenville Police Department or download the application and e-mail it to spd@stephenvillepolice.org.