WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The West Carrollton Police Department is giving people an inside look at the training and work that officers do.

The department’s Citizen’s Police Academy is in its 16th year. It’s a chance for people to see day-to-day duties of officers and experience the same type of training they do.

In ten weeks, they cover topics like traffic stops, accident investigations, use of force, and laws of arrest. Students also go on ride-alongs.

Sergeant Nathan Biggs teaches crime scene processing.

“I get to debunk all of the myths seen on television. So I get to show it doesn’t work. It doesn’t apply that way, and I allow them a hands-on experience,” states Sgt. Biggs. “I do a game called ‘Prints or No Prints,’ and I allow the majority vote to decide if you can lift prints off certain items, and then I take the class back to the processing area and allow them to try those, and some of them are very surprised that what they thought they could get valid prints off of they couldn’t even get anything from.”

The Citizen’s Police Academy will be held on Wednesdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Sept. 1 to Nov. 3.

They are taking up to 25 applicants, and you do not have to live in West Carrollton to apply.

Some take the course for a better understanding of police work; others take it because they’re interest a career in law enforcement.

“We have an applicant this year who is getting ready to go to the Police Academy, and her mother and her want to go through it to have an idea of what she’s getting ready to get into,” says Sgt. Biggs.

Terry Harding, a chaplain for West Carrollton Police, and took the course in 2008 with his daughter when she was interested in a career in law enforcement.

“Getting an opportunity to have real-life experiences with an interactive simulator–the driving as well as the use of firearms. I mean that literally changed my life,” says Harding.

The course answers why and how officers make decisions when responding to certain scenes.

Harding says the inside look and interactive experience is now more important than every given today’s climate.

“Knowledge conquers ignorance,” states Harding. “When we look at TV or we hear the news, we always think well why didn’t they do this, or why didn’t they shoot him in the ankle, or why didn’t they just offer another opportunity, and when you’re in that real life situation, the adrenaline offers nothing but reflex.”

The deadline to apply is August 1. Applicants must be 18 or older.

For an application, click here.