BELLMEAD, Texas (FOX 44) — The Bellmead Police Department is hosting a 9 week program for the community to learn more about the ins and outs of preventing crime and protecting the public.

This is Bellmead’s first ever Citizens Police Academy, that will be a learning experience for both participants and local law enforcement, as they work to bridge a connection.

Participants will learn the functional aspects of the department every Tuesday starting January 24, for 8 weeks with each course offering something different.

“Bellmead’s never done anything like this, and we’re excited for it. And we’re excited to bridge that gap. I don’t believe it’s a big gap but with the citizens of the community, but it’ll bring us closer together and give them a better understanding of how we operate, [and] what we do,” says Bellmead Assistant Police Chief Stephen Leonard.

The Bellmead Police Department is accepting 25 applicants to participate in the offered courses, opening their doors to Bellmead business owners and managers, residents, and the county as a whole.

Course materials taught by specialized instructors include bomb squad training, arrest tactics, criminal investigations, and proper equipment usage of weapons like tasers.

“Each person I selected does have specialties in those fields and I felt that they would be best suited to be able to get that across and deliver that message to the citizens that do come,” says Leonard.

And when the program comes to a close, this is what the Bellmead Police Department wants you to leave the program knowing.

“You going through the citizens academy will help us as a police department and the community be able to see certain things and be like, okay, that’s not right. I learned that in the citizens police academy. So maybe encourage them to understand that’s not right. I do need to call the police.”

The Citizens Police Academy wraps up during week 9 with a graduation ceremony at the Waco Civic Center.

For more information on the application process, you can call the Bellmead Police Department at (254)-799-0251 and ask to speak with Assistant Police Chief Stephen Leonard. You can also call his work cellphone at (254)-339-3225.

Another way to get in contact with the department is by email, Sleonard@bellmead.com.

Courtesy of Bellmead Police Department