Citizens Academy

Citizens Academy Class 2017-01-01

Look for Class 2018-02 next year.  

Citizens Academy   

The Zionsville Police Department is proud to provide a unique opportunity for citizens to attend training classes covering the operation of your police department and to experience a window into some of the training required to become a police officer.

In today’s world, citizens can have an inaccurate view of the profession of law enforcement. Some of these views are shaped by exposure to news reports, Hollywood movies and fictional television shows. It is our expectation to provide an accurate view into the real world of law enforcement for our participants.

Sir Robert Peel, the founder of modern policing, stated, “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.” This factual statement is one of the corner stones for our implementation of this informative program.  

 Brief History of Citizens Police Academies 

The concept of the Citizens Police Academy actually started in the United Kingdom in 1977. It began in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, England. A police night school was implemented to allow citizens, who were anxious to learn about police functions, police operations, and the organization of the police system in England. The founders received an immediate response from the public. They were soon overwhelmed with applicants wanting to know about their police force. The project was so successful that it was permanently adopted as part of an ongoing police public relations program.

In 1985, the Orlando, Florida Police Department adopted the concept of the Police Night School for their agency, and created the first Citizens Police Academy in the United States. The ultimate goal of the Orlando Citizens Police Academy was to reduce crime through a stronger citizen commitment to the police department and the community. Success was instantaneous, and a new law enforcement tool was found.

Word of the success spread and, in that same year, Missouri City, Texas joined in and adopted the same concept. Today, you will find Citizen Police Academy programs throughout the United States in communities large and small. (ICPAA)

The Zionsville Police Department Citizens Academy

This eight-week academy is focused on educating citizens about the Zionsville Police Department, the organization, operations and role in the community. Class participants will gain an understanding of police department responsibilities, laws and department procedures that govern its operation. The goal of the academy is to continue to develop the partnership between citizens and your local law enforcement agency.

Training Topics

•    History and orientation of organizational structure

•    Tour of the police department

•    Criminal Investigations / Narcotics overview

•    Crime scene investigations

•    Police recruiting and training

•    School resource officers

•    Police K9 overview and demonstration

•    Crime lab / evidence overview and demonstration

•    Crime prevention and awareness

•    Traffic / OWI and accident reconstruction

•    Use of Force / Defensive Tactics

•    Bike Patrol overview and demonstration

•    Firearms / Active Shooter overview

•    Emergency Vehicle Operations and functions

This free academy, in it inaugural year, will consist of eight weeks of instructions / presentations on Tuesday evenings beginning September 26, 2017, and concluding November 14, 2017.  Each class will begin at 7:00 PM and conclude at approximately 9:00 PM. Here is your opportunity to learn about Zionsville Police Department, interact with officers and ask those questions you have always wanted to ask.

Members of the police department, many of which are certified law enforcement instructors, teach classes.  Our Citizens Academy is open to all Zionsville residents or persons who work in the Zionsville Community who are eighteen years or older.

On behalf of Chief Robert Knox, we welcome you to the inaugural year of the Zionsville Police Departments 2017-01 Citizens Academy Class.  We hope to introduce you to several aspects of law enforcement and provide you with a better understanding of our department.

A four-hour ride along with an officer will also be schedule outside of class time. This is an excellent opportunity for you to see firsthand what the job of a police officer entails.

Classes are taught by members of the police department, many of which are certified law enforcement instructors. Our Citizens Academy is open to all Zionsville residents or persons who work in the Zionsville Community who are eighteen years old or older.Applicants with a felony criminal history will not be accepted. Limited misdemeanor history will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Participation in the Citizens Academy is at the discretion of the Chief of Police. 

Some thoughts from class 2017-01 after attending the Citizens Academy

"For an inaugural class, I can tell all of the work that has went into this endeavor to make sure it is successful and beneficial for not only us participants but ZPD as well. It is really difficult to tell who is having more fun."

"Loved the fake stops. It was really eye opening to see what the police go thru on a day-to-day basis. And having Adam as the driver let us know what they go through because he has probably seen it all. Everyone did a great job but I could only select one, Elizabeth and Robert did a fantastic job with the firearms presentation also."

"Great job on the accident reporting. It is nice to have on-hand learning. Just not sitting in a class room being lectured."

"Enjoyed the ability to practice and learn from each other as a group."

"It was an amazing class understanding the depth of what Sergeant Dennemann and others like   him do and go through at a crime scene. I found this personally interesting."

"Learned so much about investigations and 'who's who'."

"Excellent presentation, planning and participation by ZPD. The scope of my appreciation and knowledge of law enforcement has grown appreciably."

To apply for class 2018-02, please visit the application link below when it becomes available to fill out and submit your application. After you have completed the application process, please download and complete the Academy Waiver below and return it to the ZPD or scanned and Emailed to Captain Jeff Morris The waiver must be signed and notarized.

Application submission is currently closed

Questions, please contact Sergeant Adrian Martin


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  1. Citizens Academy


    Physical Address
    1075 Parkway Drive
    Zionsville, IN 46077

    Mailing Address
    1075 Parkway Drive
    Zionsville, IN 46077

    Phone: 317-873-5967, ext 8023
    Fax: 317-873-8026