Police & Fire

Get a glimpse into the inner workings of law enforcement at the PCPD Citizens Academy

PARK CITY, Utah — Ever wondered what goes into being a Park City Police officer, beyond the badge and gun?

The Park City Police Department’s Citizens Academy is a free 11-week course designed to give residents a deeper look into local law enforcement. Officer Terry Knechtel has run the program for the last 13 years.

“It’s a program where we’re able to bring the community in, and we try to show them what we do in areas that they more than likely will not experience with law enforcement unless they get into trouble,” Knechtel said. “What the course is designed to do is not only bring them in to get to know what law enforcement does, but it also offers a level of transparency to the public.”

Knechtel believes the academy works twofold to promote the PCPD’s positive public image, and combat any misconceptions that students may have about law enforcement.

“What you see on TV isn’t necessarily what reality is,” Knechtel said. “And reality is what we’re presenting to people.”

Presentations and classes give participants insight into some of the many aspects of law enforcement including dispatch, crime scene investigations, traffic stops, and more.

In one of the most thrilling presentations, students of the Citizens Academy get to learn about the inner workings of the PCPD’s K-9 unit, and see a demonstration involving a trained K-9 dog.

“Some poor fool gets into a bite suit and the dog attacks,” Knechtel said. “And I’m usually the poor fool that gets into the bite suit where the dog attacks.”

Academy applicants have to be 18 years or older, United States citizens, and have no major criminal history.

All Citizens Academy classes are held at the Park City Police Department meeting room from 6-9 p.m., unless otherwise specified. Classes run from May 3 through June 28, and subjects for each class are as follows:

  • May 3- Welcome and introduction, presentation on dispatch
  • May 10- Gangs and graffiti
  • May 17- Crime scene investigation
  • May 24- Domestic violence and law
  • May 31- Jail tour
  • June 7- Incident command, fire and emergency medical services presentation
  • June 14- Traffic stops and traffic law
  • June 17- Range/gun club
  • June 21- K-9 presentation
  • June 28- SWAT presentation
  • July 5- Graduation

Find more information on the Citizens Academy or fill out an application here.

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