UTICA, NY - Some Utica residents are about to get a better understanding of what it's like to be a Utica police officer.
The Utica Police Department's "Citizens' Police Academy" began its 9 week training session Monday evening at UPD headquarters on Oriskany Boulevard.
Those participating in the academy will learn first-hand about patrol operations, police k-9 units, crime scene and evidence collection, and criminal investigations.
Members of the academy will also get to participate in an interactive firearms training simulator.
Sgt James Laurey, one of the academy's instructors, believes the academy goes a long way in providing a mutual understanding between local citizens and Utica police officers.
"They're always going to have their preconceived notions on what it is police officers do and what it is Utica police officers do. One of our goals is to throw that out and show them what it is that we do as police officers. Especially here in Utica NY."
The Citizens' Police Academy is now in its 3rd year.
Those participants who complete the program will recieve a certificate of completion at the itizens' Police Academy graduation.