Real-life cop drama
Citizens Police Academy gives glimpse of life on the streets

SUWANEE - Think "CSI" is an accurate portrayal of police work?

Think again, officers say.

The Suwanee Police Department is offering citizens the opportunity to learn what law enforcement is really like. Participants will learn about the times when police officers have to make split-second decisions and why some crimes take longer than others to solve, Police Department spokesman Capt. Clyde Byers said.

The program also helps the Police Department build a relationship with the community, Byers said.

"It's a two-way street. It allows citizens to interact with police officers and get to know them as human beings," Byers said. "It also allows police officers to interact with citizens and get to know them."

About 20 people are accepted in each session of the Academy, which is offered twice a year. Applicants must be at least 19 years old, and residents and employees of the city are given preference.

Applicants must agree to let the Police Department obtain their criminal history and driving records, sign and notarize a form a release and indemnity agreement, and sign a confidentiality agreement. The notarized applications are due Friday.

Applications are available online at www.suwanee.com.

Classes are currently scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 12, 19 and 28, March 4, 11, 18 and 25 and April 1. Participants will be notified of any changes to the schedule.

Anyone with questions can contact Sgt. Elias Casanas Jr. at 770-945-4607 ext. 327 or elias@suwanee.com.