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Ever wonder what it's really like to be a cop? Join Citizen's Police Academy

The New Richmond Police Department's launch of its new Citizen's Police Academy program has received only a few applicants so far, and it has extended its application deadline in hopes of getting enough participants to fill its first 10-member class.

The program is designed to give the public a behind-the-scenes peek at daily police work, and it is modeled after similar classes offered in Hudson and River Falls.

Once the program is up and running, it will run for nine consecutive Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting next week on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Topics covered as part of the classes will include police department operations, crime scene investigations, evidence collection, drug awareness, defense and arrest tactics (DAAT), constitutional law, high-risk traffic stops, building searches, firearms, stun guns, pepper spray and more. A full schedule follows:

Week 1: This session will provide a brief overview of the New Richmond Police Department and its day to day operations and introduction of this program. A tour of the Department and patrol vehicles along with expectations and orientation of the citizen academy. Participants will, if available, be able to meet the chief of police and any other Officers working or available to attend. Brief videos of police contact and the dangers law enforcement officers face every day.

Week 2: This session will cover patrol division procedures, recruitment and training. Discussion of how this Department's largest and most visible division is organized to provide both proactive and reactive police services throughout the city. Participants will learn the patrol areas, the manpower dedicated to patrolling the city and unique challenges some areas of the City present. Participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with some of the essential equipment officers use while on patrol. They will also learn some patrol tactics along with expectations of patrol officers and their duties. Operating while intoxicated (OWI) investigations and the effects of alcohol and drugs. Crash scene investigation.

Week 3: This session will cover evidence collection and preservation. An NRPD evidence technician will demonstrate and allow participants to participate in evidence collections scenarios. This session will cover the Investigations unit of this department, to include evidence processing, crime scene management and crime scene investigations.

Week 4: This session will cover the drugs the NRPD encounters, their effects and how to report and identify drugs and activities that follow drug use and its sale. How we test for certain drugs and additional information pertaining to drugs illegal and legal.

Week 5: This session will cover DAAT. Participants will learn a brief overview of arrest tactics, handcuffing, baton use, TASER and how it is applied in the field. Participants will be allowed to practice handcuffing procedures and demonstrated baton and TASER explanation and demonstration.

Week 6: This session will introduce the participants to strategies and practices that can help protect themselves and their property from crime. Learned concepts such as, problem-oriented policing, crime prevention strategies and how to make a safer community. Information will be given on how to secure their home and property. The second portion of the session will give a brief introduction to constructional law, arrest and search and seizure. Introduction as to what is needed for justified arrest search and seizure and how it applies to daily operations. Case study and how it has changed policing.

Week 7: This session will discuss and demonstrate high-risk stops, active-shooter and building-clearing techniques. Participants will be actively involved with the demonstrations and discussion.

Week 8: This session will be a culmination of all the areas learned throughout the academy. Participants will experience the stress of being a police officer, learn the decision making process officers confront and test their skills in a live simulation. Practice traffic stops with patrol vehicles and learn and understand the challenges of multitasking in a potentially high-risk environment.

Week 9: Participants will have a graduation/certificate ceremony for completion of the Citizen's Academy.


Those interested in being a part of the inaugural class of the Citizen's Academy must be at least 21 years old. Applicants cannot have any felony convictions and they must live within the city limits. A limited background check will also be performed on each applicant.

Applications must be returned to the New Richmond Police Department by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23. Applications are available online at the police department's website, or they can be picked up at the NRPD office at 1443 Campus Drive.

Those approved for the class are asked to commit to attending all nine classes.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting Sgt. Craig Yehlik or Officer Jacob Sather at 715-246-6667.