Public invited to apply for Missoula police’s citizen law enforcement academy

The Missoula Police Department has opened applications for anyone interested in attending its free Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy.

The academy is an opportunity for anyone who wants an immersive look into the way the department operates and to learn from officers themselves what their day-to-day jobs look like.

The academy will begin on Jan. 10 and run for eight weeks, with meetings every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Each week is a different presentation from officers who will talk about what their division does, including detectives, patrol, K-9 handlers, SWAT and the bomb squad.

During the 2016 academy, representatives from the patrol division talked about the amount of training their officers undergo both at the state academy and additional mentored training when they start in Missoula. The amount of training is necessary for a department that handles roughly 117 calls for service every day in the city.

School resource officers talked about making sure that more than 10,000 students at schools across Missoula stayed safe. The lead of the negotiation team talked about how local law enforcement handled a 1993 standoff that lasted for six days.

It also includes presentations by the specialists who investigate illicit and prescription drug trafficking cases, work on the special victims unit and look into child pornography crimes, as well as the plainclothes officers of the street crimes division.

In addition to the weekly sessions, participants have the ability to go on a ride-along and take part in training simulations that mirror the quick use of force decisions officers make as part of their work.

Applications for the citizens academy are available online at under the public relations tab, or by calling Laurie Clark at 406-552-6320. Around 30 applicants will be selected for an invitation to attend. The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 29.