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      Citizens get an inside look into QPD operations

      The Citizen Academy starts next February 27th.

      It's not often the public gets an inside look into how the Quincy Police Department operates. But twice a year the department opens its doors and lets civilians in.

      "We picked a Friday night with a full moon and we had an absolutely incredible time," Frank Arnold said.

      No, Frank Arnold isn't talking about a new restaurant or a play at the community theater.

      "We learned that our people are as professional as they can be," he said.

      He's talking about a Quincy Police ride along.

      "Despite being accused of under the weirdest circumstances imaginable of being unprofessional., they are professional people," Frank Arnold noted.

      "There are some nasty people out there," Frank's wife, Vickie Arnold said.

      The Arnolds were able to tag along with a QPD officer one night as part of the Citizen Academy.

      "They learn about drug information, patrol procedures, what to do in the event of a crime, who to call," Quincy Police Officer Kelly Vandermaiden said.

      QPD officer Kelly Vandermaiden is in charge of the 10-week program. The academy covers almost every aspect of the department's operations from 911 center tours to firing range trips.

      "It's important for us for citizens to know some of our procedures and why we might do some of the things we do," Vandermaiden said.

      "You know you always have an idea of it from watching TV shows like Cops but to actually sit here and see it in real life is a lot different," QPD officer John Wietholder said.

      "I learned something in every session.," Frank Arnold said. "That's what surprised me as a person with some experience I thought there would be a session or two where I'd sit there and go, 'I"ve heard all this before. Well that didn't happen."

      Frank Arnold is a former Adams County probation officer.

      "It was interesting for me to go back and look at how things are done now compared to how they were done back in the 70s," he said.

      Frank Arnold hopes more Quincy residents will take advantage of the program, in the classroom or on a ride along.

      "Everybody should have the opportunity to go out and see the facilities, everybody should have the opportunity to know what's going on in their community. It's their tax dollars at work," Arnold said.

      The academy starts next February 27th and there are only 20 spots available.

      You must be at least 18-years-old or older, own property in Quincy, work or live in Quincy or attend school in Quincy to take the class.

      You can learn more, here.