LAWTON, OK (KSWO) –A team of Lawton police officers took to the classroom in hopes of giving the public a better idea of what they do and what they face while on the job.
During training over the next 12 weeks, around two dozen students enrolled in the 23rd annual Citizens Police Academy will see different segments of the police department. They'll learn its various functions such as patrol, canine, traffic and crime scene investigations.
"Everyone kind of has their own perceptions, they see what they see on TV and all the police shows, but it doesn't really work that way in real life," said Lawton Police Chief James Smith.
Chief Smith says the academy is designed to create a two-way communication between the citizens and officers, helping to promote a partnership of mutual support and respect.
"Probably the past couple years the police department has been in a negative light, but it's only about 1 percent of the things that go on, 99 percent of the things that police officers are doing each and every day are positive and we want to put that positive foot forward," said Chief Smith.
The class will meet every Thursday at the Great Plains Technology Center and they will graduate in late March.