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The Citizens Police Academy is a 13-week program designed to promote citizen interaction with Department members.  Academy students discover how the Savannah Police Department is organized, how it interacts with other components of City government and the criminal justice system, and how the Department and the community work together to improve the quality of life.

During the semester long program, officers from individual units of SPD make presentations to the class which describe their role in the successful operation of the Department  This provides class members with an opportunity, in an informal setting, to ask questions and share information with the officers.  In addition to the various components of SPD, presentations are also made by:

  • The Chatham County District Attorney's Office,
  • Victim-Witness Assistance,
  • Silent Witness (Crime Stoppers), and
  • Juvenile Court.

But the program is not all classroom lecture.  Class members tour the Chatham County Jail, the Department's 4 Patrol Precincts, and the Chatham County Regional Youth Detention Facility.  By far however, the highlight of the Citizens Academy is a ride along with a working beat officer on the City's streets.

Classes are held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 PM until 9:30 PM in the Squad Room of Police Headquarters at 201 Habersham Street (at the corner of Oglethorpe Avenue).  The headquarters building is the oldest, original, operational police headquarters building in the country.

Graduates of the program receive continuing education credits from Armstrong Atlantic State University, a certificate of graduation from the Department, and a class photo.  The program is also recognized for training credits by the Chatham/Savannah Board of Education.

Citizens Academy sessions begin during the second week of February and the second week of September.  Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age,
  • pass a limited background check, and
  • not have been convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor.

Applications may be obtained by contacting Cpl. Mike Nichols at (912) 651-4226.  Or you may stop by Savannah Police Headquarters, or any of the Precincts.  A $10.00 registration fee must accompany the completed application.

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