Citizen Police, Fire academies both are full, classes begin next week

By  Rachael Long

FROM: Brentwood Homepage

By RACHAEL LONG –

Beginning next week, Brentwood residents will get an inside look at what the city’s first responders go through on a day-to-day basis in the Citizen Police Academy and Citizen Fire Academy. 

Both the Citizen Police Academy and Citizen Fire and Rescue Academy begin next Thursday, March 7. Registration periods for both academies are now closed, as classes are full. 

It seems there is simply more interest in the citizen training programs than the departments have room to accommodate.

“That’s a good problem to have,” Assistant Police Chief Tommy Walsh said of the police academy. “Unfortunately there will be some people who don’t get to go who probably want to this time.”

The Police Department does its best to keep citizens in mind who expressed interest during subsequent registration periods, Walsh said, but it’s not a waiting list.

Police Captain Alan Hardcastle coordinates and leads the program, and he said almost all of his students for this year’s class first applied in 2017.  

The Citizen Police Academy is a free, 10-week program that offers both classroom and hands-on education. During that time, Hardcastle said, the department tries to expose the students to every aspect of law enforcement. 

Students in the police academy will be instructed by several members of the department, including a workshop night from detectives and a simulated traffic stop where students are in the driver’s seat of the squad car. They will also hear from a judge with Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the District Attorney, and even someone from the Department of Homeland Security. 

“It really helps them to understand what we do and why we do it,” Hardcastle said.

City Commissioner Ken Travis said at Monday’s city meeting that he has been through both the fire and police programs. 

“They’re really something,” Travis said. “It is amazing what you get to learn about both departments.”

The Citizen Fire and Rescue Academy is a three-month program which meets twice a month and offers more than 30 hours of instructional time. Participants will have the chance to learn everything from fire training “in the grill” to touring the safety building, and more.

For more information on either training program, contact the City of Brentwood at (615) 371-0060.

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