South County residents invited to take part in citizen's police academy

South County residents interested in volunteering for their local police department are encouraged to participate in a citizen’s police academy starting Saturday.

The South County Citizens Police Academy is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to participate in the South County Police Volunteer program, which includes the Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach police departments.

The academy provides citizens with an inside look at the workings of the three departments. Students will be introduced to all facets of law enforcement, including patrol procedures, dispatch communications, investigations, traffic control and records systems.

The class is free and is not designed to make the participant a police officer. The volunteer work may include things such as helping police monitor special events, directing traffic during accidents or other emergencies, and making sure crime scenes remain secure.

Classes run for nine weeks and are held each Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be held at the Arroyo Grande Police Department at 200 N. Halcyon Road.

For more information, contact Pismo Beach police Sgt. Tom Portz at tportz@pismobeach.org or 596-5433; or Pismo Beach police Administrative Secretary Julie Castaneda at 773-7029.