During this week’s West Plains City Council meeting, City Administrator Tom Stehn announced the West Plains Police Department is starting a Citizen’s Academy.
According to West Plains Police Chief Stephen Monticelli, the academy will last nine weeks and be held between 6 and 9 p.m. Wednesdays from April 1 to May 20. It will include a graduation and dinner for graduates and instructors.
“We’re looking forward to hosting this,” Monticelli said. “It’s not only about information but also participation.”
He added that academy participants will be required to complete a four-hour ride-along with police officers, in addition to attending the regularly scheduled classes.
The classes will begin with an introduction to and tour of the department and then will focus on topics such as police procedure, communications, crime scene investigation, firearm safety and training, and crisis negotiation.
“I believe this is an opportunity for the public to learn and connect with the police,” said Monticelli. He explained he has done similar programs in other communities and they received positive responses.
“I’ve wanted to do one of these for West Plains since I’ve started on as the police chief,” he said. “This will be the first time, so we are interested in the response.” Monticelli began as West Plains Police Chief in November 2018.
The academy is free and open to adults over 18 who can pass a background check.
Seating is limited and applications will soon be available at the police headquarters 1912 Holiday Lane and on the city’s website www.westplains.net.
For more information, call 256-2244.