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More than two dozen residents curious about operations of the Evanston Police Department joined the 38th class at the Citizen Police Academy this week.

CPA partipants get an inside look at the lockup.

More than two dozen residents curious about operations of the Evanston Police Department joined the 38th class at the Citizen Police Academy this week.

The free 12-week program meets Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.

Officer Loyce Spells, who manages the CPA program, says the academy was launched in 1995 by then police chief Gerald Cooper. “It was this new concept that was going to bring the community closer to the police department and build better relationships,” Spells says.

In addition to classroom instruction, students spend several hours observing police dispatch in the Communication Center and ride along with officers in their squad cars.

And, for the introductory session, they got a  tour of police headquarters.

Officer Spells shows the group the department’s booking area.

Grace Pollert, 30, who moved to Evanston three years ago from from Grand Rapids, Mich, said she deciced to sign up for the program “because I see the police so much in my neighborhood; I wanted to see this side of it.”

Police Chief  Richard Eddington told the group he hopes they’ll become ambassadors for the department in the community.

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