LANSING — Residents have a chance to learn a little more about what a police officer does with the village's Citizen’s Academy in early 2018.

Police are currently looking for enrollees for the free course.

“There’s a lot of positive feedback,” Lt. Scott Bailey said. “I have yet to hear anything negative about people leaving the course saying they didn’t learn anything. ”

The class runs on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. for nine weeks. It begins Jan. 17.

Students learn about different topics during individual sessions, like drugs, crime scene processing, a K-9 demonstration, policies and procedures and what officers can and cannot do.

Residents get a chance to go through an artificial shoot/don’t shoot scenario in front of a large video screen in Lansing’s firearms training simulator. It could include a shooter, a knife attack or other situations.

“It was fun. They made it lively and fun,” said Amy Todd, director of the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.

Todd attended Citizen’s Academy with chamber administrative assistant Sue Seymour last spring.

Todd said she didn’t have any expectations going in but is glad she took the class. She said she got to see another side of some of the officers she’d known away from the job.

“I think the most fascinating thing was the dispatch area, how many calls come through there and how difficult some of those phone calls are and how good (dispatchers) are at helping people,” Todd said.

The program began in the early 2000s under former Police Chief Dan McDevitt. The goal has always been to host a new class annually, Bailey said, but the academy only happens if there are at least 10 or so interested residents.

The class is aimed at Lansing residents but it is open to people who work in Lansing but live elsewhere, if there’s room. A background check is required.

“What we’d like to get out of this is more open communication with citizens and the police department,” Bailey said. “A community needs a Police Department and a police department needs a community.”

Bailey said one of the goals is some misconceptions people have about police work and capabilities.

“We do have updated technology but what you see on television is not what our Police Department has, such as finding a fingerprint and having a suspect within 24 hours,” he said. “We don’t have cameras on every corner that we can zoom in and do facial recognition.”

Graduates are given a certificate upon completion of the course.

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