The original concept of the Citizens Police Academy (CPA) came from Great Britain, where the UK Constabulary designed a program to give citizens an overview of British law enforcement operations. Known as “police night school” when it began in 1977, the program was an immediate success.
Soon after, the idea spread to the United States via the Orlando Police Department in Florida. The CPA concept can now be found in large and small law enforcement agencies across the United States and Canada.
The first Pearland Citizens Police Academy class was started in the spring of 1995 and was an immediate success. There are now over 1,000 graduates with over 300 alumni members. The academy is held each spring and fall and stretches for ten weeks of instruction in the various tasks associated with law enforcement.
Units of instruction covered during the course include:
Graduates of the class are offered the opportunity to keep learning and participating in community service through membership in the Pearland Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
Working under the liaison guidance of the Pearland Citizens Police Academy Liaison Officer, the alumni members have made numerous contributions over the years. Their efforts have promoted the CPA classes and the police department alike. Other donations by the PCPAAA include: shotguns for the honor guard, mirrors for the gym, TASERs, a SWAT throw phone, computer jump drives, cameras for patrol officers, traffic cones, a 20-foot long trailer, an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), rifle sights for various officers, a Connex box for the K9 Unit, a commercial lawnmower to maintain the outdoor gun range, tourniquets and raincoats for the officers, 8 bicycles for the Bike Patrol Unit, and most recently, three K9 Unit dogs and training.
The volunteer hours of alumni members range from assisting instructors with SWAT and Crisis Intervention training as actors, and raising funds for needed items that are above and beyond the departmental budget. They also conduct disabled parking enforcement, traffic and crowd control at special events, as well as other selected activities.