Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy

A photo of officers discussing traffic stops at the Regional Citizens Academy

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Want to learn more about the police agencies serving Kalamazoo County? The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy offers participants an insider’s look at law enforcement and an opportunity to discuss many important issues that impact officers every day.

The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy is a dynamic, one-day training session filled with multiple hands-on opportunities. It’s hosted by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, in collaboration with the Kalamazoo Township Police Department, Western Michigan University Police Department, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, Portage Department of Public Safety, Michigan State Police, Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The goals of the Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy are to increase public awareness of law enforcement operations, improve communication, and create an opportunity for honest dialogue between community members and law enforcement. Additionally, we hope to humanize the badge worn by the men and women in Kalamazoo County to help break down barriers and increase trust. By forming positive partnerships, we hope to collaborate more effectively with the community to problem-solve and create a safer community for all.


“I loved it. I wish it were longer. I can't wait for the next and the ability to suggest it to more people who could benefit from seeing the humanity on the force.”

“I cannot fully articulate to you how much I really enjoyed the academy. It opened my eyes to a unique perspective when it comes to law enforcement."

“It has been the center of many discussions since I participated. I learned a lot not only about public safety and their day to day but also about myself and my reaction to situations. I enjoyed it greatly.”


The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy is offered completely free of charge to participants. However, the Academy requires a full-day time commitment from participants. Due to the vast amount of invaluable information covered in just one day, applicants unable to commit to the full day may be deferred to a later academy session.

The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy is hosted twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. The Academy is held on a Saturday, typically from 7am-6pm. Breakfast and lunch are provided.

Topics Covered

The Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy includes presentations, discussions, and hands-on opportunities on a series of important topics like:

  • Use of force decision making
  • Conducting traffic stops
  • Firearms use
  • Law enforcement specialty units
  • Mental health partnerships
  • Role of internal affairs
  • De-escalation techniques

Participants also go through scenario-based training exercises and have the opportunity to use an interactive decision-making simulator.


Seats are limited, so we recommend applying early. All participants must meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Live or work in Kalamazoo County
  • Be at least 18 years old

A background review will be conducted on each applicant and the Kalamazoo Regional Citizens Academy reserves the right to deny entry based on a background review. Applicants will be informed in writing if they have been accepted, denied, or placed on a waiting list for a future session.

Apply Now


  • Saturday, September 16, 2023 | 07:00 AM - 08:00 PM
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