MPD seeks participants for 2013 Citizen Academy

The Marshalltown Police Department is seeking community members to participate in its 2013 Citizen Police Academy.

This year’s academy will focus more on hands-on activities to engage participants more actively, said Capt. Brian Batterson, the Marshalltown Police Department’s coordinator for the academy.

“It’s a good way for the community to meet members of their police department,” Batterson said. “It’s a way for them to learn why we do the things we do.”

The 10-week course details several aspects of police work, ranging from criminal law, police procedure and community relations. The program allows citizens to take part in a variety of activities simulating police duties including K-9 officer demonstrations, crime scene investigation, traffic stops and field sobriety testing.

Citizen Academy cadets meet once a week for three hours.

Batterson stressed that the program’s success depends on its students’ commitment, saying that those who sign up should plan to attend the majority of the classes.

The final week of the academy is a picnic and award ceremony. Batterson said the program has space for 30 participants, and those who complete the program are eligible to be volunteer police officers.

“It benefits both the citizen and us,” Batterson said. “It helps us staff events at lower costs.”

The MPD regularly employs the help of volunteer officers to assist with large-scale events such as Oktemberfest and the state barbecue cook-offs.

However, Batterson said volunteers can choose in what capacity they are involved, be it staffing such events, assisting with data entry or logging evidence.

Classes begin March 19 and meet from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday in the Marshalltown City Council Chambers, 10 W. State St.

For more information, contact Capt. Brian Batterson at 641-754-5729 or The application deadline is March 4.