Great Falls Police Department Citizens' Academy

City of Great Falls Montana

What is the Citizens’ Academy?
The Academy runs twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. The Citizens' Academy is a group of Great Falls area citizens who are interested in learning more about how their police department operates and the policing challenges our community faces. The Academy training will consist of classroom and “hands on” training with emphasis on student involvement.

What is the purpose of the Citizens’ Academy?
The purpose of the Great Falls Police Citizens’ Academy is to promote and enhance citizen understanding and awareness of the role of the Great Falls Police Department. The program is designed to develop positive relations between the police and the community through education. The goals are to create a growing nucleus of responsible, well-informed citizens who have a better perception of police practices and services.

Who instructs the Academy?
Instructors are officers and personnel from the department who speak on their areas of expertise, as well as specialized guest speakers.

What subjects are covered? (Tentative - subject to change)

  • Chief’s Message
  • Records / Support Capt. / Investigation Capt / Patrol Capt.
  • Live Range Day / Jail Tour / 911 Dispatch Tour
  • Sex Crimes / Internet Crimes Against Children
  • High Risk Unit (HRU)
  • DUI & DRE
  • High Risk Traffic Stops / Pepper Spray / Handcuffing
  • Taser
  • Detectives / Street Crimes / Criminal Motorcycle Gangs
  • Police Culture / PTSD

How are participants selected?
Participants must be 18 years of age or older. They must be a resident of Great Falls or the surrounding area. We will conduct background checks on all participants. Participants approval will be at the discretion of the Academy facilitator and the police administration.

When does class meet?
There are two academies per year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Participation requires a commitment of one Wednesday evening per week (including graduation night), plus one Saturday afternoon, for a total of 11 classes over 10 weeks.  Wednesday evenings will be from 6:30 to no later than 9:30 pm, and the Saturday afternoon session will be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Participants may opt to schedule a ride-along with a patrol officer.

Classes are held at the Great Falls Police Department's Regional Training Center, 112 1st St. So.

What do I do next?

The 2016 Fall Academy is now full and no more applications are being accepted. Please check back in mid-February 2017 for information on applying for the Spring Academy.

For more information, please contact Officer Clint Houston at (406) 455-8529.

NEW! Masters Academy

The GFPD is proud and excited to offer to first Citizens’ Academy Master Course starting the second week of January 2017.

The Citizens’ Academy Master Course is an eight week course designed to give attendees a more in-depth, hands-on, scenario-based, interactive experience when compared to the regular Citizens’ Academy. 

We have received numerous requests for further interaction and training from Citizens’ Academy graduates.  This course would provide another opportunity to involve members of our community and build upon the trust and relationships we have already established. This experience is aimed at deepening the students’ understanding of our department, law enforcement in general, and the criminal justice system as a whole.

The course is limited to 20 students, who must be GFPD Basic Citizens’ Academy graduates. 

Classes will be held between the fall academy and the spring academy, every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 9:30, beginning January 11 and ending March 1, 2017. With one Saturday class on February 4th. 

Course Fee:  $125  Includes: 3 meals (first class, field day, and capstone dinner), t-shirt included

Click here to access the 2017 Winter Masters Academy Application; it can also be found at the bottom of this page. You can type directly into this form and then print it or email it, or you can fill it in by hand and send in. 

To be considered, applications must be received by Officer Houston no later than 3pm on Thursday, December 29th, 2016. You may contact Officer Houston @ 455-8529 for further info.

Thank you for your interest in the City of Great Falls Police Department!