From Staff Reports

Prosper Police are once again looking to the community for direction on whether or not to

schedule a Citizens Police Academy in 2014, according to Officer Marty Nevil, the department’s public information officer.

"Before we move forward with the planning, we want to gauge the level of interest in putting on a 2014 CPA. Putting on a CPA is a lot of work and a major commitment not only on the part of the Police Department, but also it represents a major commitment on the part of the participants. We want to make sure there’s enough interest prior to announcing dates," she said.

The Citizens Police Academy is conducted by officers of the Prosper Police Dept. and covers a number of law enforcement topics in a combination of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on seminars. The classes are generally held on about 15 consecutive Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at various locations around Town. Exceptions to the schedule are made to accommodate holidays or other major conflicts, but participants are expected to make every effort to attend classes when scheduled.

"Participants who sign up are committing to regular attendance at the classes, but we know that scheduling conflicts can and will arise. We are flexible enough to offer make-up dates when possible," she added.

Once completed with the classes, graduates of the CPA may continue their training to attain designation as members of Citizens on Patrol or Volunteers in Police Service, activities that are still in the development stage in Prosper.

The CPA provides residents an insider’s look into police work, but does not result in converting civilians into sworn officers. "Nevertheless, the assistance that citizens can provide to the police force is invaluable. They serve as a force-multiplier and expand the reach of law enforcement in the community," said Nevil.

Should there be enough interest, the 2014 CPA class could start as early as January. A start date would be influenced by a number of factors, including, of course, the number of people who step forward to volunteer.

"To seriously consider a class, we need a minimum of 12 qualified residents to step forward. We can accommodate as many as 20, but no fewer than 12," she said.

There are a number of basic requirements that volunteers must meet before being accepted into the class.

To find out more, and to express interest in being part of a potential class, individuals should contact Officer Marty Nevil at 972-569-1033 or via e-mail at marty_nevil@prospertx.gov.