Citizens' Academy

The Academy is a twelve-week program designed to provide residents of La Plata County (in an academy setting) first-hand information on how the Durango Police Department works. Participation in the Academy requires a commitment of one night a week for the twelve-week program. Classes are held from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Durango Emergency Communications Center, 221 Turner Drive.


The Academy is designed to increase understanding, through education, between citizens and police. Our intent is to acquaint citizens with law enforcement’s role in the criminal justice system, and to provide an increased understanding and overview of police work. As a caution, the Academy is not designed to make its participants certified police officers. The contents of the course are of an informative nature only and it is not intended that the participants have the authority of, or act as police officers.


Instructors include members of the Durango Police Department who speak in their areas of expertise. Each has years of training and experience that they bring to the classroom.


The sessions include information about domestic violence, gangs, patrol operations, traffic problems, community policing, tactical response and investigations, as well as a little history about where we are and where we are going. In one of the sessions, participants will have the option of firing several different weapons. They will also have the option of participating in an unarmed self-defense training session. Each participant will "ride along" in a patrol car to see first-hand what officers see and hear, and what they are trained to do in a variety of circumstances. Participants may spend time observing in the Central Communications Center and hear actual calls for service, as well as the dispatching of officers to those calls. Throughout the Academy, participants are encouraged to ask questions and discuss topics with members of the Department.

Selection Process

The Department seeks to fill each program with a cross section of community representation.


Citizens’ Police Academy Applications can be completed online or obtained at the Durango Police Department Lobby and by downloading an application online (PDF). Please return all applications to the Records Bureau.