Citizens Police Academy

The next Citizens Police Academy will start on Thursday, August 22nd, deadline for applications is Friday, August 16th.

For more information, contact Candice Ortiz at or (254) 750-1764

Please note: Applicants will be subjected to a background check prior to acceptance into the academy. Applicants must not have any criminal offenses to participate.

About the Academy

Since 1991, this program is designed to give citizens a working knowledge and raise awareness of the Waco Police Department. It’s a 12 week course held on Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Two sessions are conducted per year; one in the spring and one in the fall. Class topics include police recruiting, traffic stops, SWAT, police negotiations, K-9, crime scene, crime prevention, dispatch, active shooter, drug awareness, family violence, crimes against children, and more. Instruction consist of lectures. Applicants are subject to a criminal background investigation, prior to being accepted into the academy.

Graduates of the Citizens Police Academy are eligible to join the Waco Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. The goal of the Association is an ongoing learning and helping process. The main goal of this organization is to enhance relations between the community and the police force. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month.

Class Topics

Students will learn about each Unit within the Police Department; how cases are handled; and role play as police officers in selected class topics; and requirements to become a police officer.

Patrol Functions: Street Crimes
Officers will speak to the students of the daily life and role as a police officer. Officers will talk about their experiences out in the real world.

Traffic Stops:
Students will learn the dangers an officer faces during a routine traffic stop. A hands-on scenario is setup as an opportunity for students to get involved and role play as an officer while conducting their very own traffic stop.

Suspect Information:
A class session is given on how to identify and report suspect descriptions to the police department.

The Unit will explain procedures and how calls are prioritized.

Crime Prevention – Securing Your Home:
Class session will entail evaluating the perimeter of the home to include: Lighting, landscaping, doors, locks, and windows.

The SWAT Unit will conduct a presentation. Students will have hands-on experiences with the different types of weapons used by our S.W.A.T. team.

Building Searches:
The S.W.A.T. Unit will show students how to make entry in a building when searching for a suspect(s). Students will also be given tips in how to handle the situation in the event someone breaks-in while you’re at home.

Crime Scene:
Students will learn how the Crime Scene Unit processes the crime scene and how evidence is collected. Students will also see the different types of equipment and chemicals used at a crime scene.

A class session is given on the different types of drugs used, signs of a person using a type of drug, and it effects. Officers will also talk about prescription drugs which are highly abused and used more by teens these days.

K-9 Unit:
The K-9 Unit will speak to the class about when the police dogs are used, and how they are trained. The K-9 dogs will also give a demonstration on drug and article search in the classroom.

Special Crimes:
The students will learn the types of crimes this Unit investigates which are Robbery, Missing Persons, Suicides, Questionable Deaths, Attempted Murder, Homicides, Sex Offender Registry, Adult Sexual Assaults, Criminal Investigations, Injury to Elders, Kidnappings, and Adult Protective Referrals.

Sex Offender Registry:
This topic will explain the sex offender laws, probation violations, and registration requirements.

Police Recruitment and Academy:
The Personnel Unit will explain the recruitment testing and application process in becoming a Peace Officer for the Waco Police Department.

Police Negotiations:
Students will hear about different types of cases when negotiators are called out to a scene during barricades, hostage situations, suicide attempts, etc.

Family Violence:
Students will hear the types of cases that fall under the Family code. Violence against a family member or loved one, Victim’s Rights and the Law.

Crimes against Children:
Students will hear types of investigation on crimes against children.

Self Defensive Tactics:
Students will be given the opportunity to learn a few self defensive tactics techniques for personal safety.

Identity Theft:
Students will be given a class session on Identity Theft prevention and what to do if you are a victim.