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Citizens' Academy

Would you like to gain insight into how the Tacoma Police Department works? The Citizens' Academy is for you.


The Citizens' Academy highlights the Tacoma Police Department's Community-Oriented Policing philosophy, which strengthens the bond between our community members and our police officers as we proactively work together to solve community issues of varying complexity.


The goal of the Citizens' Academy is to create a growing core of well-informed community members who are proud of their police department, and who can serve as ambassadors who share their experiences with and knowledge about law enforcement with other community members.


During three-hour sessions (6-9 PM), held on Wednesdays in the fall for 13 weeks, the Citizens' Academy offers City of Tacoma residents, its employees, and Tacoma community and business leaders an up-close and personal look at the way the Tacoma Police Department is organized and an opportunity to learn more about its:

Operations Bureau Activities
Patrol, Traffic, Community Policing, Homeless Outreach Team, School Resource, Explorers, Violence Reduction, Marine Services, K-9, SWAT, Special Response Team, Search and Rescue, Designated Crisis Responder, Bomb Squad and South Sound 911 Dispatch.

Investigations Bureau Activities
Violent Crimes including Homicide, Death Investigations, Missing Persons, Assault, Special Assaults and Sex Offenders.

Major Crimes including Special Victims, Domestic Violence, Child Abduction Response and Child Abuse, and Arson.

Career Crimes including Property Crimes and Financial Crimes. Also presented are Forensic Services and Special Investigations (Narcotics and Vice).

Administrative Services Bureau Activities
Crime Analysis Unit, Internal Affairs, Hiring/Recruiting Unit, Training, Chaplaincy, and Jail.


Chief's Office

Public Information Officer, Community Engagement, and Community Relations. 

Each session at the Citizens' Academy can accommodate 30-36 community members over the age of 18.  Instructors are officers and personnel from within the Tacoma Police Department and other law enforcement-related agencies who are department-recognized subject matter experts.


The Citizens' Academy first launched in 1987 and is coordinated through the Tacoma Police Department's Operations Bureau. More than 1,400 community members have graduated from the Citizens' Academy.


Application Process and Schedule

The next academy will begin September 6, 2023, and run through December 6, 2023 (with no class November 22, the day before Thanksgiving). The classes will be held Wednesday evenings at the City of Tacoma Fleet Operations classroom, 3639 South Pine Street, adjacent to Tacoma Police Department headquarters. In addition to a completed application, you must include a scanned (or photocopied) copy of your Washington state driver license.


Register for the Citizens' Academy


Completed applications (with a copy of your Washington State driver's license) can be submitted via email to: TPD-CitizensAcademy@cityoftacoma.org or can be mailed to: 


Tacoma Police Department

Attn. Citizen's Academy

3701 S. Pine Street

Tacoma, WA  98409