The Citizens’ Police Academy is an eight-week program in which members of the community are introduced to the men and women of the Sioux Falls Police Department. The students are shown day-to-day activities that officers go through in the classroom. Students learn about the Administration, Patrol, Community Services, and Detective Divisions. Students are given instruction from members of each division covering topics ranging from color guard, K-9 service dogs, traffic, response to resistance, fraud, computer crimes, identification section, narcotics, bomb, and SWAT teams. Different sections of the training are interactive, giving students an enhanced opportunity to learn.

Once this training is completed, students are given the opportunity to complete an eight-hour ride-along with an officer on the street. The ride-along is an eye-opener for many students as they see the real day-to-day activities of officers in the department. The most common statements by students is that police work is definitely about more than writing tickets and appreciation for the patience and professionalism shown by officers in the field. The class also provides those with an interest in the field of law enforcement an opportunity to view the profession firsthand.