Citizen Police Academy

What's New?

The application process for the 2014 Citizen's Academy has begun. Applications will now be accepted until July 31, 2014.

What is the Citizen Police Academy?

The Madison Police Department's Citizen Police Academy is a program that is designed to give the public a working knowledge and understanding of the values, goals, and operations of the City of Madison Police Department. The objective of the Academy is to improve the lines of communication and help build a positive relationship between the Madison Police Department and the community members we serve. This experience will afford citizens an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their police department while allowing police to become more familiar with the citizens they serve.

The Madison Police Department believes that by working together with the public, we are better able to solve problems that face our community and ultimately improve the quality of life in the City of Madison. This course is not intended for those wishing to explore or pursue a career in law enforcement, as it is by design, a program that only offers an overview of general police duties, responsibilities and operations.

What Should I Expect?

The Academy consists of nine (9) three-hour sessions conducted on a weekly basis. Classes will take place every Wednesday starting September 17, 2014 through November 12, 2014, between 6pm-9pm. The Academy will be held at the MPD Training Center located at 5702 Femrite Drive, Madison, Wisconsin. There is no cost to attend.

During the Academy, citizens will be exposed to subject matter relating to the duties and responsibilities of police officers. The Academy will be instructed by police officers and supervisors from the Madison Police Department with expertise in various areas of law enforcement. Past topics have included drugs and gangs, a legal update, officer involved shootings and use of force decision-making, OWI and traffic enforcement, K-9's and mounted patrol, crime scene investigation, crisis negotiations, Dane County Crime Response, child abuse/neglect, computer crimes/forensics and domestic preparedness. Academy participants will also be given the opportunity to go on a ride-along with a MPD police officer. Academy topics may be subject to change from year to year.

During classes, participants are encouraged to ask questions and give feedback concerning the operation of the Madison Police Department. Additionally, citizens bring a wealth of knowledge about their community, particularly the problems in their neighborhoods. In this way, members of the department learn firsthand of the concerns of its citizens by interacting with them in a positive, non-confrontational setting. It is our sincere hope that the well-informed graduates will become partners with us in identifying problems and providing solutions to quality of life issues that face our community.

Who can Attend?

  • Citizens of the City of Madison who are at least 18 years of age
  • Citizens with an interest in learning about their police department
  • Citizens with no felony arrests or convictions (includes criminal traffic offenses)
  • Citizens who have completed an application and waiver of liability by the deadline
  • Citizens who are willing to submit to a background check

How to I Apply

Applicants must print a copy of both the application and waiver. Once both forms have been completed, they must be mailed to the Coordinator whose name and address appears at the bottom of the application or dropped off at one of the district police stations to be routed to the Coordinator. Applications and waivers will be accepted until the established deadline. This year, the deadline for submissions of the application and waiver has been extended to July 31, 2014.

Applications and waivers received after the deadline will not be considered unless postmarked by July 31, 2014. Any applications and waivers that are submitted by email will not be accepted. No confirmation of receipt will be provided to the applicant.

Once the deadline has passed, all applications will be reviewed to help establish a pool of diverse candidates. A background check will be conducted to eliminate those applicants with a criminal record. The remaining applicants will then be evaluated to establish the final group that will comprise the 2014 Citizen Police Academy. All applicants will receive a letter from the Coordinator advising them of the outcome of their application process. The Academy screening process may take up to six weeks to complete after the application and waiver submission deadline. August 15, 2014 is the target date by which letters are to be mailed to each citizen identifying the results of their application process.

The criteria for screening applicants will include (but not be limited to):

  • City geographical areas (districts)/distribution of neighborhoods
  • Diversity to reflect the community we serve (i.e., gender, race, age)
  • Review of application
  • Information obtained from background investigation

The maximum class size for the Citizen Police Academy has generally been limited to 20 candidates. All accepted candidates will be contacted and provided more specific information regarding the Academy. The candidates must commit to attending all of the sessions. It is understood that emergencies may arise, but candidates must contact the Coordinator to inform her/him of the need to miss the session and provide a reason. Unexcused or numerous absences may result in dismissal from the Academy.

Any further questions can be directed to the Citizen Police Academy Coordinator.