ST. CLOUD -- Once again this fall you have the opportunity to learn firsthand about what it is like to be a police officer. The Metro Citizens Police Academy is taking applications right now.

St. Cloud Police Sergeant Tad Hoeschen says it is an eight-week course running 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. every Thursday from September 9th through October 21st.

He says they are especially looking for people who have been critical of law enforcement's response to incidents.

We simply want people to take a moment to think of the totality of the circumstances and all the different things and all the different components and all the different laws and court rulings that go into the decisions that we have to make in a split second, prior to jumping to conclusions.  All we ask is that we have an open dialogue and great discussions from different perspectives.

You do have to be at least 21 years old and you can not have a criminal record.

Hoeschen says over the course of the program you'll learn what it takes for police to do their job.

We designed the academy so that it starts out with learning the use of force and learning about court decisions and things like that and it culminates in actually putting the academy participants through a simulator to learn how we respond to calls and they get to make those snap decisions themselves using all the information they had throughout the academy.

The Metro Citizens Police Academy has been around for about 20 years.

The academy is solely informative and in no way trains or promotes residents to act in a law enforcement capacity.

Applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis and the deadline to apply is August 26th.

If you live in the cities of St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and Waite Park or anywhere in Stearns County.

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