FARMINGTON — The Farmington Police Department is once again offering a Citizens’ Police Academy, free of charge. 

The academy will run from 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday for nine weeks starting Feb. 8. Applications are available at the department at 116 Franklin Ave.

There are no tests or grades in the class, said Detective Darin Gilbert, academy facilitator.

The informational class is designed to help community members gain an understanding of the diverse demands and operational requirements of the department, he said.

As students learn about the department, officers are given a chance to touch base and make connections with community members, he said.

The department wants graduates to “develop an awareness and appreciation of various challenges and decisions faced on a daily basis by police officers,” according to a release.


The department has not offered the Citizens’ Academy for almost 10 years because of staffing limitations, he said.

“The department is now at a place where we can make this work and want to bring it back out to the public,” he said. “The academy teaches about what we do and what services we offer.”

Classes include instruction on traffic laws and crashes, probation and parole, the school resource officer, criminal law, crime scene processing, the use of force, the role of the dispatcher and office manager at the department, domestic violence, trends of active shooters, emergency mental health tactics and a situational awareness class, he said.

Situational awareness is about civilians becoming more aware of their surroundings, as people have a tendency to become complacent, he said. The class provides tools for what to do when things don’t look right and how to be more aware of our surroundings so as to keep people safe, he said.

A full night on operating under the influence will be held, as well as a class involving a police K-9.  

“Each participant will have two blocks of four-hour ride-alongs with an officer to let them see what we do,” he said.


Scenario-based learning, when participants will be given a situation and be put in officers’ shoes, will also be offered, Gilbert said. The focus of the class will be the exploration of what they would do in different situations and how they would feel under the circumstances. 

“We want to help them understand what we do and the stress and constraints that we work under,” he said.

The hope is to develop a Citizen Police Advisory Board with some members of the class involved, he said. Police Chief Jack Peck is working on the board development.

Classes are held in the evening to allow people who work an opportunity to participate. The department would like to have at least 10 and a maximum of 20 because of space.  

The application deadline is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.  

For more information, contact the department at 207-778-6311.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.