This year marks the second time that police departments within Centre County have offered the Centre County Citizens’ Police Academy
This week, the 20 or so participants are learning about the Centre County Tactical Team.
In late August when applications first went public, State College residents like Laura Zimmerman applied to participate.
“I have a responsibility to know the resources that are available to me in my community whether it’s my loved ones, a neighbor, a stranger. It’s just really good to be educated on the resources that are available and know where to turn when there’s a crisis,” Zimmerman said.
Over the past few weeks, participants have been educated in topics such as crisis intervention, firing weapons and the role of the Bomb Squad.
The academy is State College Police intern Ena Foreman’s project. For her, the academy is a chance for citizens and police to better understand each other.
“To really get a takeaway that law enforcement are here as your friends, your family, your neighbors. We are really here to help and to bridge that gap between law enforcement and citizens through education,” Foreman said.
While graduates don’t receive any special privileges, the goal is to foster better police-community partnerships.