What is the Citizen Police Academy?

“Understanding Through Education”

The Austin Citizen Police Academy (ACPA) was established with the desire to become “a forum to present information and promote understanding regarding police work.” Since its inception in 1987, the ACPA has educated the public about the Austin Police Department (APD), increased the rapport between citizens and police officers, and produced more than 1,800 graduates. The 14 week course is designed to give the public a working knowledge of APD and includes presentations by the following APD divisions:

  • District RepresentativesCPA - AirOps - Air1
  • Recruiting
  • APD Academy Cadet Training
  • Office of the Public Monitor
  • Internal Affairs Division
  • Continuing Education Unit
  • Crisis Intervention Team
  • Critical Incidents
  • Human Trafficking
  • Homicide
  • Cold Case
  • Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)CPA - K9 Trimmed
  • K9
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Forensics
  • Office of Community Liaison
  • Bomb Squad
  • Air Operations
  • Mounted Unit
  • APD Chaplains
  • Organized Crime
  • Highway Enforcement
  • Lake Unit

In addition to presentations by officers from the divisions listed above, the course coordinator answers questions and discusses any topics the students bring up at each session.  Chief of Police Art Acevedo makes a presentation to the class and invites their questions. One of the highlights of the course for students is to participate in a sector ride-out with an officer on a night shift during their course.

Applicants to participate in the CPA course must be at least 18 years of age, must live or work in the Austin area, and pass a criminal background check.  The course is free and offered twice each year.

Upon completion of the course, graduates are invited to join the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (ACPAAA) and continue to learn and interact with the police department. For more information about ACPAAA, please visit the Membership page.

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