Nearly 40 citizens and businesses will be given the opportunity to participate in the Harker Heights Police Department’s citizens police academy next month.
“It gives the community and businesses, and people who work here in Harker Heights an idea of how the police department works, the role in the community and what we do,” said Dave Haley, an officer with the department’s Community Service Division.
This is the 14th academy that will be conducted by the police department, and is free to anyone who is interested.
Haley said participants will get an overview of state law and the Texas Penal Code.
“It’s not just a cut-and-dry class; we go through stuff like traffic, and talk about traffic stops and controls because it is a big issue with all the highways around here,” he said.
Participants also will get the chance to conduct mock traffic pullovers, tour the Bell County prison and learn the fundamentals of law enforcement in order to join the HHPD citizens volunteer program.
Haley said there hasn’t been a significant spike in recent criminal activity in the area, but the force wants to equip the community with knowledge of how to properly report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.
“To you, you might think it’s just a stranger in the area, but it could be that guy we are looking for that just broke into homes just a few blocks down the street,” Haley said. “People don’t understand that 80 percent of the crimes that are solved, are solved by private citizens just calling in.”
The training aims to enhance safety and further reduce crime in the Harker Heights area.
The 12-week course begins Feb. 12 in the Heights police department training room. Each class lasts about three hours.
Anyone interested can contact HHPD at (254) 953-5400 to secure a spot and fill out an application.