LaGrange Police Department prepares for annual Citizens Police Academy

LaGrange Bureau

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The LaGrange Police Department will be hosting their annual 10-week Citizens Police Academy beginning Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2021.

Eric Lohr, the Operational Lieutenant of Patrol, said the LaGrange PD has been hosting the police academy for 25 years. He said the goal of the police academy is to teach the community more about what the police department does.

“When people think of a police department they think about traffic stops and they think about arresting people but 90% of what we do has nothing to do at all with enforcement. It’s really about building relationships so we talk about a variety of different things and just give folks an insight on what we do on a daily basis,” said Lohr.

Lohr said the police department likes to make the police academy more engaging by allowing participants opportunities to conduct traffic stops and practice shoot-don’t-shoot scenarios. During the 10-week period participants are also allowed to go on two ride-alongs with officers.

Participants are also shown how officers are trained to respond to different situations. Officials from other organizations like District Attorney, Herb Cranford, participate and discuss how they handle certain situations.

Maggie McDonald, participated in the police academy in 2020, said the experience was very insightful. She said she got to see the deeper aspects of the police department that she had not seen before.

“It was a great experience. They were nice and very thorough with the communications. They brought in lawyers, they brought in their police dogs,” said McDonald.

She said she believes the police academy helps show the community that police officers are more than just a badge. She also said seeing how quickly officers have to make decisions is eye-opening and it was interesting to feel that adrenaline with the shoot-don’t-shoot simulator.

The Citizens Police Academy is free of charge and open to the public, registrants have until Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2021 to register.

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