Metro Citizens Police Academy
For the past 20 years, several law enforcement agencies in the St. Cloud area have teamed up to offer an eight week course that aims to teach residents about police training and procedures.
The course, named the Metro Citizens Police Academy, is hosted by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and police departments from five surrounding cities: St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and Waite Park. It meets on Thursday nights for four hours throughout September and October. Residents of Stearns County can register here before August 28th to join the Academy.
Though the Metro Citizens Police Academy does not lead to any certifications or officer training, participants have many opportunities to see behind the scenes. St. Cloud Police Sergeant Tad Hoeschen shared that participants see traffic stop scenarios, a K-9 demonstration, SWAT demonstrations, have the chance to tour a Minnesota State Patrol Helicopter, and see mental health call responses. They also have the option to actually go to the driving academy and try pursuit driving as well as learn to use a pistol and a taser and participate in simulated use-of-force decisions.
Sergeant Hoeschen believes that “This is an amazing opportunity for us to engage with our community on so many different levels to learn from them as well as to allow them just to have the opportunity to hear our side of things and see our side of things. We encourage them to come basically with an open mind and have good dialogue.” He also said the officers teaching the class “…really try to open up everything that we do to be as transparent as humanly possible.”
Thank you to Sergeant Hoeschen and all of the peace officers who will be taking time this fall to share their line of work with the public. We are grateful for your work and continued efforts to promote education and transparency.
P.S. – If you have a #ThankACop story to share or an officer to highlight, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!