Gurnee Citizen Police Academy

The Gurnee Citizen Police Academy is a 36-hour block of instruction designed to give the public a working knowledge of the practices, policies, and procedures governing the police department. The instruction consists of twelve 3-hour blocks conducted on a weekly basis. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character with no felony convictions.

Classes are held each Thursday evening from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Anyone interested in attending the 12 week FREE course can obtain an application by contacting Deputy Chief Saundra Campbell at (847) 599-7050 or via email.

Class #27 started on March 3rd, 2016. For the following 13 weeks students in the class shared the duty of writing an article about each class and their experiences. Their writings are below:

Week #1

Apr 29, 2017, 16:57 PM
On Thursday March 3rd, 2016 I attended the first class for a new group of CPA students. I did so as a "reporter" of sorts. Each week a member of the Gurnee Police CPA Alumni Association will attend classes then write a short review of each. Our intention is to share class details with the public to help shed light on this very vital and popular program.

The class opened with a welcome from Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik, Chief Kevin Woodside, and Deputy Chief Willie Meyer.

I had anticipated that students would be just as excited as my class was on their first night. I was not disappointed. Each attendee introduced themselves and said they wanted to learn as much as possible about what the police do. As a side-note, I notice two members had a striking resemblance to Gurnee Police Commander Brian Smith.
As it turns out his parents are members of the class!

After the introductions Chief Woodside invited me to share some comments. I told the group that perhaps most important thing they will learn is who the police personnel are. I shared they will likely come to see each presenter as the open and warm people that they are, and the students will grow to care very much about each officer’s well-being.

Chief Woodside gave a presentation about officer recruitment, including their “lateral entry” program. It’s an arduous process, and it takes roughly 54 weeks to become a Gurnee police officer. Criterion is rigorous and includes physical fitness and personality testing.  Effective communication skills have become increasingly important. Communicating with the public is a skill each officer must do with excellence. Students were also given an in-depth tour of the police facility.

I'm confident that by graduation, this class will see how well the members of the Gurnee Police Department do every part of their job. 

Next week (03/10/16) students will discover the 911 center, emergency medical dispatching and receive a tour of the communications division.

Joe Vetrano, Current President, CPA Alumni Association