Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy

Photo of participants at the Citizens Police Academy

Want to learn more about the police agencies serving Kalamazoo County? The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy offers participants an insider’s look at law enforcement and an opportunity to discuss many important issues that impact officers every day.

The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy is a dynamic, training session filled with multiple hands-on opportunities. It’s hosted by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety in collaboration with the Kalamazoo Township Police Department, Western Michigan University Police Department, Portage Department of Public Safety, Michigan State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

We hold the Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy are to increase public awareness of law enforcement operations, improve communication, and create an opportunity for honest dialogue between community members and law enforcement. We also hope it helps break down barriers and increase trust by humanizing the men and women of Kalamazoo county who wear the badge. By forming positive partnerships, we can collaborate more effectively to solve problems and create a safer community for everyone.

“I would highly recommend it to anyone that has an open mind and a brick to bring to build a bridge for improved police and community relationships… I cannot fully articulate to you how much I really enjoyed the academy. It opened my eyes to a unique perspective when it comes to law enforcement. 


The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy is offered completely free of charge to participants. However, the Academy requires a two-day time commitment from participants. Due to the vast amount of invaluable information covered in just two days, applicants unable to commit to attending both days may be deferred to a later academy session.

The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy is hosted twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. The Academy runs on two consecutive Saturdays from approximately 7 am until 4 pm. Breakfast and lunch are provided daily.

What does it cover?

The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy includes presentations, discussions, and hands-on opportunities on a series of important topics like:

  • Use of force decision making
  • Conducting traffic stops
  • Firearms use
  • Patrol readiness
  • Law enforcement specialty units (canine team, SWAT team, aviation team, bomb squad)
  • Mental health partnerships
  • Role of internal affairs
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Handling domestic assault incidents

Participants also go through scenario-based training exercises and have the opportunity to use an interactive decision-making simulator.


Seats are limited, so we recommend applying early. All participants must meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Live or work in Kalamazoo County
  • Be at least 18 years old

A background review will be conducted on each applicant and the Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy reserves the right to deny entry based on a background review. Applicants will be informed in writing if they have been accepted, denied, or placed on a waiting list for a future session.

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  • Saturday, September 16, 2023 | 07:00 AM - 06:00 PM
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