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Suwanee taking applications for Citizens Police Academy

SUWANEE -- The Suwanee Police Department is gearing up for another Citizens Police Academy, which will begin Feb. 16.

The eight-week academy, a "glimpse behind the badge," as officials call it, has been offered about twice a year since 2000 to help residents better understand the risks and responsibilities officers face and to strengthen the bond between cops and the community.

After graduation, officials said residents will be able to:

* Better understand day-to-day operations of Suwanee officers.

* Be able to identify, recruit and mentor potential candidates for the Citizens Academy or for employment with the Suwanee Police Department.

* Better observe scenarios and make a commitment to report suspect criminal behavior.

* Give other residents a better idea of what police officers do, fostering greater support for the department.

Classes, which will explore such topics as crime scene processing, traffic stops, crime prevention and narcotics identification, will go from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. every Tuesday at the Suwanee Police Department Training Center at 373 Ga. Highway 23.

Applicants must be at least 19 years old and will be screened on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to Suwanee residents or those who work in the city.

Notarized applications must be turned in no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 6. and can be downloaded at the city's Web site, www.suwanee.com.

For more information, call Officer Elias Casanas at 770-945-8995 or e-mail him at elias@suwanee.com.