Citizens Police Academy

Dates for 2023 are September 11 through November 20

Academy times are:   

Monday evenings, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, beginning September through November.

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to attend.
  • There is NO fee required to attend this academy.
  • Apply -- Applications are available at the HDPS lobby or by completing the ONLINE APPLICATION.

In an effort to educate the public about our policies and procedures, we now host the Holland Citizens Police Academy (HCPA). What we hope to accomplish from this academy is to dispel myths, suspicions and misconceptions about law enforcement in Holland.

The HCPA is held once a year with a class size of about 40 citizens. Students must have no serious criminal record, and either live or work in the greater Holland area.  While graduates of this academy will hold no special police powers upon graduation, students do come away with a new appreciation of the responsibilities of the men and women of the Holland Police Department. They also learn of the high standards to which these officers are held.

Officers of the Community Policing Unit manage and host the HCPA under the direction of Sgt. John Weatherwax, Community Policing Unit Supervisor. The HCPA lasts eleven weeks, with students attending lectures and field trips for about three hours a night, once a week.  They also received simplified firearms training and get to shoot in our indoor range. The final week consists of a one hour "graduation" ceremony attended by students and their guests. Graduates are presented with certificates of completion and are asked to share their experiences of the academy.

The students are also required to ride with an officer for about six hours to get a good sense of what a typical patrol night might be like. As you may guess, the students may be in for a very slow, uneventful night, or they may never forget the incidents observed for the rest of their lives. 

Some presentations given to HCPA students include: (course subjects to possibly adjust due to COVID-19)

  • OWI Investigation
  • Use of Force
  • K-9 Unit
  • Narcotics Enforcement
  • Tours of the Department, County Jail, and 911 Center
  • Domestic Violence Law
  • Gang and anti-drug enforcement
  • Probation programs
  • The Judicial system
  • Departmental structure and organization
  • Traffic and patrol procedures
  • City ordinances and state laws
  • Ride-a-long with an Officer for a shift
  • Firearms use and training

How to apply? Application forms are available in the lobby of HDPS, or by ONLINE APPLICATION.