Citizen Police Academy

Citizens Police Academy

The Joplin Police Department hosts an exciting 14 week Citizens Police Academy. This program targets people in our area who want to learn more about the Joplin Police Department. The program is offered free of charge, and this hands-on, interactive, behind-the-scenes program is taught by experienced police officers, who share their unique perspective on law enforcement.

Topics covered will include:

  • Building clearing
  • Child abuse investigations
  • Crime scene investigations
  • DWI enforcement
  • Introduction to the K9 unit
  • Narcotics investigations
  • SWAT operations and equipment
  • Community Policing
  • Use of force tactics
  • Vehicle stops

After the class has been completed, a graduation ceremony is held to recognize each participant.

Why the Citizens Police Academy?

The concept of the Citizens Police Academy involves opening the Joplin Police Department to the public, and showing citizens exactly what we do and how we do it. As a result, graduates of the Citizens Police Academy are better equipped to assess safety issues and share with others their knowledge of law enforcement practices and policies.

Given our commitment to the community and proactive problem-solving, we see the Citizens Police Academy as an effective way of bringing law enforcement and the public together in an informal, educational forum. The benefits of such a partnership can only help strengthen the entire community in terms of public safety and quality of life.

Interested persons are encouraged to contact the Special Enforcement Bureau of the Joplin Police Department at (417) 623-3131, or submit the application below. An application can also be obtained at the front desk of the Joplin Police Department at 303 E. 3rd Street, in Joplin.

All applicants must be at least 21 years of age. A background check will be done on each applicant. The Joplin Police Department reserves the right to deny entry to the Academy based on the findings of a background check.


Please complete the ONLINE APPLICATION or you may complete the Citizens Police Academy Application in Adobe PDF format then mail or fax your completed form to:

Joplin Police Department

Support Services Bureau

303 E. 3rd St

Joplin, MO 64801 


Fax: (417) 625-4733


Citizen Police Academy

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the Citizen Police Academy?

A: The CPA is an exciting 14 week program hosted by the Joplin Police Department. This program targets people in our area who want to learn more about the police department. This hands-on, interactive, behind-the-scenes course is taught by experienced police officers, who share their unique perspective on law enforcement.

Q: Does it cost anything to attend the academy?

A: The Citizen Police Academy is offered free of charge.

Q:Who can participate in the program?

A: Participants must be at least 21 years of age and pass a background check.

Q: Do I have to be a Joplin resident to attend?

A: You do not have to be a Joplin resident, but if the class is nearing capacity, preference may be given to applicants living within the Joplin Metro area.

Q: Are class sizes limited?

A: Classes are limited to 25 participants per session, so it is advisable to turn in your application as early as possible.

Q: When is the program?

A: The CPA is held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, the exact dates vary. When the CPA is in session, classes are held once a week for 14 weeks, usually on Thursday evenings.

Q:Is dinner provided?

A: The Joplin Police Department provides snacks for orientation, and dinner for the Graduation Ceremony. During the rest of the classes participants work together in groups to provide food for each class. Participation is strictly voluntary.

Q: Where are the classes held?

A: Most of the classes will be held at the Joplin Public Safety Training Center. Other classes will be held at the Joplin Police Department Headquarters at 303 E 3rd St, Missouri Southern State University and the Children’s Center.

Q: What do I wear to class?

A: The classes are informal. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as there will be tours and interactive exercises. **Dress code for police ride-alongs will be addressed during the first class.

 Q: I have my concealed carry permit, can I carry in class?

A: Weapons of any kind are prohibited during class sessions and ride-alongs.

Q: What if I miss a class, will I still graduate?

A: This class is for information purposes only, so missing a class or two won’t be held against you. You will still be able to graduate with your class. You may also make arrangements to sit in on the classes you missed during the next CPA session.

Q: May I bring a friend or relative to the class?
A: Due to space limitations and the regulations the CPA participants must go through to attend the program, participants may not bring any guests. If you would like someone to attend with you, have them apply too! Often we have Husbands and wives, siblings, or Mothers/Fathers and their adult children take the class. However, participants are encouraged to bring a guest to their graduation ceremony.

Q: What if I have more questions?

A: For more details, please contact Officer Lacey Baxter at 417-623-3131, ext 1632 or [email protected]