Gainesville’s police and fire departments will soon offer their 10-week program highlighting the often unseen aspects of the public safety organizations.
The Citizens’ Public Safety Academy is in its fifth year, with classes starting on May 9 and running through July 18.
Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said the departments have expanded the training program to make the course a “little more energetic.”
“We’ve got a number of things we’d like to showcase and highlight throughout the agency,” he said.
Participants will learn about “crime prevention, gangs and narcotics” on the police side as well as the fire safety aspect. Those in the class will have a chance to ride along with officers and see “firsthand what the officers do,” Holbrook said, a common favorite of the program.
Building a connection with members of the agency has been a benefit on both sides, Holbrook said.
Class members will also get a chance to suit up in fire gear and get up in the ladder truck.
“You get up in the ladder and you can see across the city,” Holbrook said.
The free classes are on Tuesdays from 6:30-9 p.m. Space is limited to 25 students, and applications can be accessed at gainesville.org/citizens-public-safety-academy before the May 3 registration deadline.
Applicants are subject to a criminal history background check and “must have a clear criminal history” excluding minor traffic offenses, Holbrook said.