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Dysart Police to host Citizens Police Academy

March 14, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

he Dysart Police Department has announced the creation of a Citizen's Police Academy, a six-week course for residents to learn more about law enforcement and the department to engage with the public.

Headed up by Dysart Police Officer Jeremy Stenda, the Citizens Police Academy will cover topics including traffic enforcement, domestic violence, criminal law, drug investigations, K-9 units, a jail/dispatch tour and other subjects related to law enforcement for anyone over the age of 18. The academy is scheduled meet once a week from April 17 to May 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Dysart Community Building at no charge. A graduation ceremony will be held on the last week at the Union Middle School. The motivation behind the academy came from Stenda's own experience growing up and hosting one as a sheriff's deputy in Taylor County.

"I grew up in Clinton and their Citizens Academy changed the culture of the community since being founded in the 90s," Stenda said. "It brought the community and the police together. I went through myself in college. It's a big tool to build relationships. They were successful and other cities have had similar success with an academy. Small towns are able to do it too."

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Stenda intends for this class to host seven to 10 students for the academy this year to provide a more hands-on experience and show students why law enforcement operates in a certain way. Classes will be instructed by officers from the Tama County Sheriff's Department, Tama/Toledo Police and other agencies. Stenda will reach out to local organizations to help fund items for the Citizens Police Academy, including "drunk goggles", dummies and other teaching items. Equipment will be minimal.

"I've reached out to several departments from across the state, but this is associated with the Dysart Police Department," Stenda said. "We will work together creating scenarios for classes, roleplaying and providing one-on-one instruction for our class."

According to Stenda, the goal of the Citizens Police Academy is to promote a better relationship between the community and law enforcement in an age of social media. However, Stenda wants this understanding to extent beyond Dysart and for people to respect officers wherever they go. The academy could also help address misconceptions about law enforcement and show why officers operate.

"If we can get this going, it will be yearly activity and get anyone involved," Stenda said. "We encourage anyone with bad experience with law enforcement to attend. This is an opportunity to work with us one-on-one and changes perceptions. It makes a great difference."

For more information about the Citizens Police Academy or to get an application, check out flyers at City Hall or the Dysart Police Department Facebook page. Questions and applications can be answered by Stenda at



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