The Morro Bay Police Department is welcoming residents to learn how the department operates during its annual Citizens Academy.
The 9-week course not only gives guests an inside look at the duties and personnel involved with the department, but it's also an opportunity for police to recruit citizens for the Police Volunteer Group.
The academy is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. every Thursday starting Sept. 12 until Nov. 14, with Halloween not included. There is no cost to apply for or join the program.
Training topics include radio communications, crime scene investigations, patrol procedures and crime-solving skills.
One of the instructional programs will also have participants take part in a virtual reality demonstration that puts them in the shoes of an on-duty officer.
"They get to be in front of a screen and make decisions a police officer has to make, and they find out really quickly that it's sometimes a little more challenging than what they think it is," said Sgt. Rick Catleet of the Morro Bay Police Department.
Sgt. Catleet also said one of the greatest benefits of the Citizens Academy is that guests can "really get to know their police officers."
If you're interested in participating in the Citizens Academy, you can go to the Morro Bay Police Department Facebook page. You can also contact Sgt. Catleet directly by calling (805) 772-6225.
The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 4.