Applications available for 2014 Citizens' Public Safety Academy - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Applications available for 2014 Citizens' Public Safety Academy

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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Auburn resident Stewart Mills is one of dozens of graduates from Auburn's Citizens' Public Safety Academy (CPSA).

"It's a very good way to see under the hood," says Mills. "I think it's a very neat opportunity for you to have an appreciation not only for what the city does to make Auburn the great city that is, but what the police officers, the fire, the code enforcement and all these individuals are doing that we don't typically see, and have the opportunity to appreciate every day."

March 20 will mark the beginning of the 13th CPSA, a course that allows residents to go behind the scenes and see what public safety officials endure every day.

"It also gives them the opportunity to share some of their issues with us and we take that information and bring back to the chief and we sit down and try to come up with a game plan to resolve some of the issues," explains Captain Will Mathews of the Auburn Police Division.

In this two month, once a week sessions, participants will become certified in CPR, learn how to work a crime scene, and also hear how 911 operators respond to callers.

The course also includes two Saturday sessions where they will have the opportunity to extinguish a fire, and shoot a variety of weapons at the police range.

"We take them out to the range and shoot a variety of different firearms, from handguns officers carry on their belt to some of the tactical team weapons, fully automatic weapon," says Mathews.

Mills is a part of the CPSA alumni group who continue to show appreciation to these first responders even though the course has ended.

"We do meet once a month to brainstorm little things we can do to let them know that just because we've gone through the program, and we're through shooting guns and playing with fire trucks, that we still want to continue and support them and let them know how much we appreciate how much they are doing," says Mills.

Participants will meet each Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will graduate from the academy on May 22.

Residents interested in this year's academy are encouraged to apply early as class size is limited. Applications are available at the Auburn Public Safety Department located at 161 North Ross Street or online at www.auburnalabama.org.

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