We all do our best to avoid the back seat of a cop car, but what about taking a spin in the driver’s seat? The Warwick, Rhode Island Police Department is giving citizens the opportunity to see what life is like behind the badge through the Citizens Police Academy program. Learn what it’s like to enforce the law and take the cruiser for a spin on the track on which officers train.

You know you have thought about it, or at least I have: getting behind the wheel of a marked car, flipping on the flashing lights, blaring the siren, and getting a record-breaking top speed as you fly down I-195 while yelling "10-4" into the police radio.

Okay, the Citizens Police Academy probably won’t let that happen, but the department shared the program’s information to Facebook to get the word out about a hands-on approach to learning more about the local police force.

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“It is not intended to turn citizens into police officers, but to allow citizens to learn police operations,” the department wrote. “Citizens will become informed as to the actual role of the police, and in return, the police will benefit from the wealth of knowledge the citizens can provide about their communities.”

This free 12-week training session is open to anyone interested, with Warwick residents having first priority, and will serve as a learning experience for the people involved.

“Television shows have created a mythical image of the police,” Warwick Police wrote. In some ways, the media has dehumanized police officers, and this program will help residents understand the truth about what officers can and cannot do.

It’s an opportunity to see firsthand the everyday life of a Warwick cop, and maybe even test the horsepower on their cruiser – but most importantly, it will educate the public on the important role that police officers play in the community.

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