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 Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue speaks to participants in last year’s Citizens Police Academy at the Royal Oak Police Department. The Citizens Police Academy is now accepting applications, and the seven-week course will begin Oct. 2.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue speaks to participants in last year’s Citizens Police Academy at the Royal Oak Police Department. The Citizens Police Academy is now accepting applications, and the seven-week course will begin Oct. 2.

Photo provided by Al Carter


Royal Oak Citizens Police Academy now accepting applications

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published August 27, 2019

 Officer Rich Chipman, of the Royal Oak Police Department, demonstrates defensive techniques during the Citizens Police Academy at the Police Department last year.

Officer Rich Chipman, of the Royal Oak Police Department, demonstrates defensive techniques during the Citizens Police Academy at the Police Department last year.

Photo provided by Al Carter

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ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak Police Department’s popular Citizens Police Academy — a seven-week course that offers participants a look inside the daily operations of the department — will return this fall.

Beginning Oct. 2, the group will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays for approximately three hours at the Police Department. The free program is open to Royal Oak residents who are at least 18 years old.

“This is our fifth police academy class for the citizens. We were doing two a year, then we scaled back to one,” Lt. Al Carter said. “Participation is extremely high and a lot of people want to partake in it.”

He said the Police Department receives up to 100 applications each time it offers the course, but there is room for only 25 people.

The Citizens Police Academy covers everything the men and women in blue do. Participants will see a K-9 demonstration and learn more about evidence technicians, the detective bureau, investigations, communications, patrol and defensive techniques.

“They learn a lot. We bring a lot of the different police officers in charge of different divisions,” Carter said. “The last one is a ride-along. (Participants) get to ride along with a police officer.”

 During the defensive techniques demonstration, Carter said, participants will handcuff each other and will witness a live, five-second Taser blast, of which he is usually on the receiving end.

At the end of the program, participants will take part in a graduation ceremony and will receive a diploma and a group photo. Carter said alumni from previous classes continue to stay in touch.

“The only complaint we ever get is people want it to be longer,” he said. “Each class, we get so many fantastic questions.”

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said the experience is fun and rewarding for both residents and police and helps to foster new relationships.

“A lot of people have a perception of law enforcement and the Royal Oak Police Department, and this is a way for people to really get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and who we are,” O’Donohue said. “It also allows them to meet many of the officers, and I think one of the highlights is the ride-along.”

All potential applicants must undergo a background check. Applicants will be notified no later than Sept. 30 if they have been admitted.

To apply, visit www.romi.gov. For more information, email Carter at albertc@romi.gov.

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