Citizen Police Academy
History of the Citizen Police Academy
The concept of the Citizen Police Academy started in the United Kingdom in 1977. It began in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, in the City of Exeter, England. A police night school was implemented to allow citizens, who were anxious to learn, to gain knowledge about police functions, police operations, and the organization of the police system in England.
The founders received an immediate response from the public. They were soon overwhelmed with applicants wanting to know about “their” police force. The project was so successful that it was permanently adopted as part of an ongoing police public relations program. In 1985, the Orlando, Florida, Police Department adopted the concept of the Police Night School for their agency and created the first Citizen Police Academy (CPA) in the United States. The ultimate goal of the Orlando Citizen Police Academy was to reduce crime through a stronger citizen commitment to the Police Department and the community. Success was instantaneous and a new law enforcement tool was found. Word of the success spread and in that same year Missouri City, Texas, joined in and adopted the same concept.
History of Mount Pleasant Citizen Police Academy
The Mount Pleasant Police Department realizes that community involvement is the most powerful, efficient, and practical force any local law enforcement agency has in the fight against crime. Understanding this concept, the department wants to encourage the citizens of the town to become active partners of the Police Department by working together and identifying strategies to combat the problems facing Mount Pleasant. By encouraging this type of assistance the Police Department hopes to enhance the sense of ownership the citizens have within their neighborhoods and their town.
During March of 1997 Chief of Police Roddy Perry facilitated the development of a Citizen Police Academy by Lieutenant Stan Gragg. On March 4, 1998, the inaugural class of the Mount Pleasant Citizen Police Academy convened.
Graduates of the Citizen Police Academy formed an Alumni Group in the fall of 2009, which is open to all past and future graduates.
The alumni continue to work with the Mount Pleasant Police Department and citizens to enhance community relations.