Citizens Police Academy

The Citizens Police Academy is a 10-week program sponsored by Shaker's Police and Fire Departments, open to Shaker Heights residents and those who work in the City full-time. The course is intended to raise citizen awareness of police procedures and programs. Students are provided with all necessary materials and there is no fee for the course.


The course is conducted by Shaker Heights police officers. The weekly three-hour sessions cover topics such as criminal investigation, response to threats, K-9 Unit, and tactics. Classroom lectures and field visits help participants better understand the pressures, complexities, and operations of police work. Class size is limited to approximately 18 students to ensure an active dialogue with the police officers.

Please note: The program fosters an understanding of law enforcement and does not grant any police authority to academy graduates.

Participating in the program will teach you the following things:

  • How the Police Department works
  • How the Police Department and the Municipal Court serve the public
  • See the Police Department in action
  • About the operations of the Fire Department
  • Ride along in a police cruiser on patrol
  • Review crime scene procedures
  • Gain exposure to special tools
  • Learn and experience firing range procedures and gun safety
  • Learn about the K-9 Unit
  • Learn about the Laws of Arrest
  • Learn about drugs and their impact on crime
  • Learn about the response to threats continuum
  • Learn about the work of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
  • Learn about Community Policing
  • Participate in Citizens Police Academy Graduation Ceremony

For further information, call 216-491-1240 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and ask for Debra Messing.

Who Can Join

Those who live or work full-time in Shaker Heights may apply. Applicants must be age 20 or over, with no violent felony convictions. In addition, applicants may not have been arrested for misdemeanor offenses within 2 years of application. Background checks are run on all applicants. Those under 21 will be restricted from participating in certain aspects of the curriculum.

Since the program began in 1994, there have been 25 classes with over 370 graduates. The classes are diverse in age, race, gender, and profession.

How to Apply

The online application for 2020 will be available this spring. The City will inform residents that the application is open in the City ENews and on social media