Albany -- Police officers are taking their street smarts off of the street and into the classroom. They're teaching the class and every-day citizens are the students. It's an effort to improve the department's relationship with the community and show you what it takes to be a cop.
People in the Citizens Police Academy are seeing how cops do what they do.
"I'm interested in what they do and all the problems they have so I understand what's going on better," says Ted Anderson who reserved his spot for the class well in advance.
He's concerned about fighting crime.
"Some people don't know the difference between a semi automatic weapon and a revolver. How many of us sitting in here now know the difference between those two weapons? Raise your hands, raise them high," Lt. Kenn Singleton quizzed the group.
Anderson came to the right place. Officers are teaching citizens everything police go through, ranging from pulling over a vehicle, fighting gangs, to the basics of fingerprinting for evidence.
"Sometimes citizens have the feeling that police officers aren't doing their job or actually exceeding their authority, but by being educated on the policies and procedures we follow, they'll have a better understanding," says Chief James Younger.
It's that better understanding Younger hopes will translate into better support for his police department.
"Citizens will come to see police as more than just a badge and a uniform and they'll actually start to see the personal side of officers."
The class lasts for 13 weeks and will meet once a week for two hours. It's a time commitment, but Anderson feels this is a serious matter.
"Police can't do it themselves. Everyone has to work together on this," he adds.
Participants will also get to ride along with police and learn about how they patrol. There are still spots available for the Citizens Academy.
If you're interested, contact Lt. Kenn Singleton at 483-7631 or 407-2464. The next class meets next Thursday.