Citizens' Academy

The purpose of the Citizens’ Police Academy is to develop citizen awareness and understanding of the role of law enforcement in our community and an opportunity for law enforcement to hear from you.

The academy is held each year starting in February. It is ten weeks long with classes being held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and one Saturday morning. The class size is limited to the first 30 applicants admitted. Prior attendees may be admitted after all new applicants are processed (if class space is available).

Program Requirements

  • Participants must be at least 21 years of age and work or live in Cowlitz County.
  • Applicants can have no felony or domestic violence convictions. 
  • Misdemeanor arrests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants must pass a background check conducted by law enforcement.

Course Topics & Activities

  • Court process
  • Crime prevention
  • Defensive tactics
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) investigations
  • Firearms
  • Gang enforcement
  • Investigations
  • K-9 programs
  • Narcotics investigation
  • Patrol function
  • Property crimes
  • Traffic law

Participants are given an opportunity to ride with a patrol officer from one of the agencies for a maximum three-hour period. Participants are required to attend all classes.  However, the Academy Staff may grant excused absences on a case-by-case basis.

Partner Agencies

Our commitment is to provide the best possible instruction for each topic. Instructors include members of the Longview Police, Kelso Police and the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other members of the local criminal justice community.