The Paducah Police Department's Citizens' Police Academy (CPA), for citizens 18 years of age or older, focuses on building a strong partnership between the police department and the community. The Paducah Police Department also offers a Junior Citizens' Police Academy for teens ages 13 to 18 (see information at bottom of page).
Since its inception in March 2002, the CPA has graduated 21 classes of more than 340 citizens. It is taught once a year starting in August on Thursday nights over 11 consecutive weeks. Each Thursday evening session lasts approximately three hours. The CPA is free to anyone 18 years of age and older who lives in the community. All applicants are subject to a criminal background check prior to acceptance. Upon graduation, participants are encouraged to join the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS).
Some of the topics covered during the 11 week class are criminal investigation, crime scene processing, evidence, firearms, and law enforcement procedures, in addition to presentations by specialized units including the Drug and Vice Enforcement (DAVE), SWAT, K-9, and the Bomb Squad. Participants are encouraged to schedule ride-a-longs with patrol officers.
CPA Class #21 graduated October 13, 2016 (pictured to the right).
You can apply for the Citizens' Police Academy by mailing or dropping off a Registration Form. Stay tuned for details of the 2017 CPA class.
The Paducah Police Department offers a Junior Citizens' Police Academy (JCPA) for Paducah and McCracken County youth ages 13 to 18 who may be interested in law enforcement as a career. The JCPA meets during the summer in a day-camp style format. It meets for one week, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The program is free for participants. Lunch is provided each day, and each participant receives a t-shirt.
The program includes classroom lectures and hands-on activities. The teens will learn about patrol tactics, investigations, court proceedings, and crime scene processing. Students also will learn about the department's specialized units including the bomb squad and SWAT team. Students will not be allowed to shoot firearms; however, they will be introduced to the types of firearms and weapons used by officers and be able to use simulated training equipment. Students who enjoy what they learn in JCPA are encouraged to join the Law Enforcement Exploring Program.
For 2017, the Junior Citizens' Police Academy will be held June 12-16, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Paducah Tilghman High School. The deadline to apply is June 9.
Please note that priority will be given to new applicants. Those who have previously participated in the Junior Citizens' Police Academy are welcome to reapply; however, they will be placed on standby.
The department launched the Junior Citizens' Police Academy in July 2012. The initial class was held for only three days. Due to its popularity, the academy expanded to a five day program in 2013 with 24 teens thanks to a $2500 donation from BNSF Railway.