FDPD to hold public safety class

The chance for people to get a behind-the-scenes look at local public safety agencies is returning to Fort Dodge in the form of the next Fort Dodge/Webster County Citizen’s Academy.

Applications for the eight-week class were made available this week on the Fort Dodge Police Department’s website.

Police Chief Tim Carmody said planning for the fourth Citizen’s Academy class began before the previous one ended last November.

“We’re committed to holding two classes a year as long as our budget and time allows,” Carmody said.

The class, which meets Tuesday nights from 6 to 9 p.m., gives participants a look at how different law enforcement and public safety agencies do their jobs. Participants in the class include the Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa State Patrol, Webster County attorney’s office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Fort Dodge Fire Department.

Carmody said the structure of the class will remain the same as the previous three.

“Our schedule is pretty solid,” he said.

Though applications have been available for less than a week, Carmody said the department has already had a number returned.

“Our goal is to max out around 25 students,” he said. “Anywhere around that number would be awesome.”

Carmody added he would like to find places for alumni from the previous three classes to help out.

“We would love to have the alums involved in some way,” Carmody said. “We’re trying to figure out a way to bring them in.”

He said one alum from the previous class, who is a local business owner, has offered to sponsor one of the meals for the next group.

Even if the alums aren’t able to help out within the class itself, Carmody said they can help in other ways.

“They’re active in the community, and their support is tremendous,” he said. “We hope to build on that.”

Carmody said Citizen’s Academy helps both the community and public safety.

“We all have the same goals,” he said. “It’s about education, their roles and responsibilities, and their work as community liaisons.”

Citizen’s Academy has been held in Fort Dodge since the fall of 2011. Carmody had previously been involved with Citizen’s Academy when he worked at the Omaha Police Department, and brought the class to Fort Dodge shortly after he was hired as police chief.

Applications for Citizen’s Academy are due March 29.