MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Citizens Police Academy kicked off its 30th class on Monday night.
This academy is designed to give residents an unfiltered look at the police department and what it takes to keep the city safe. In order to graduate, students must complete eight out of the ten classes along with at least 15 hours of ride-along time.
Passing does not give these students any policing power, but police chief Warren Gall explained to the incoming class that he hopes this hands-on experience will give each student the opportunity to form educated opinions of law enforcement and contribute to the safety of the city.
"For us to have a safe community, we need to have the police and the community working together," says Lt. Joey Crosby, spokesperson for the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
There are no more than 30 students in the class. This year's is made up of retirees, new residents, every-day workers, and students looking for a career in law enforcement. WMBF News reporter Katrina Helmer is also taking the class. She will be reporting on each class for the next ten weeks.
"We want the citizens to see exactly what the officers go through on a daily and nightly basis in order to protect and serve them," says Crosby.
An officer with specialized training will teach each class. The schedule is below.
Week 1: Introduction and police department tour.
Week 2: P2C Tutorial/Crime Prevention
Week3: Gang Unit
Week 4: Narcotics/15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit
Week 5: Crime Scene Investigation
Week 6: Driving Under the Influence
Week 7: Firearm Training Simulator/Taser/Pepperball
Week 8: SWAT/CINT
Week 9: K-9 Unit
Week 10: Graduation Ceremony
Some parts of the buildings, classroom training, and officer instruction will be off limits to our cameras. Although this class is open for the public, each student had to pass a background check in order to be given permission to take the courses and be in restricted areas of the building. WMBF News intends to protect the location sensitive documents and the identities of undercover officers.