UNDATED -- Once again this fall you have a chance to learn what it takes to be a police officer in the St. Cloud metro area. The annual Metro Citizens Police Academy is taking applications right now.

Assistant St. Cloud Police Chief Jeff Oxton says the program is designed to give participants a lot of hands-on experiences.

And not only just see it by a lecture format, but they get to partake physically.  They get to shoot, they get to go through defensive tactics training, they get to go through driving training, so not only do they learn about it but they also get to actually physically see what it's like to have to do those things.

The Metro Citizens Police Academy is a one day a week, eight-week course. The classes are on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. starting on September 5th and running until October 24th.

Applicants have to be at least 21 years old, and cannot have a criminal record.

You can apply for the program through the police department in the city where you live. Besides St. Cloud, the police departments in St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park are participating in the program.