Class was in session Thursday night at the Moose Jaw Police Station for night one of the Citizens Police Academy.

Fourteen students are enrolled in the program this year, which is running for the first time since the pandemic.

Staff Sergeant Taylor Elder, who took the course himself in the past, explained why they decided to open their doors to the public.

"It's just a chance for us to give a behind-the-scenes look to some citizens who are interested in policing and show them what we do. There's a variety of different units that will be presenting throughout the five-week course and an opportunity to have a ride-along at the end."

Elder says they received a lot of interest in the Citizens Police Academy this year, adding they may consider running it again this fall.

"We have young people who are interested in a potential career in policing and we have some older people who are more-or-less just interested. It's a good group."

Police Chief Rick Bourassa welcomed the class to the program before the group was split up for a tour of the station which featured a look at the indoor firing range, which is a rare sight in Saskatchewan.

MJ Police AcademyPolice Chief Rick Bourassa welcomes the class to the Citizens Police Academy

Elder hopes the course gives citizens a better understanding of what officers deal with on a day-to-day basis.

"I grew up in Moose Jaw. I was naive to what actually happened in Moose Jaw. I think this is a good chance for the citizens of Moose Jaw to actually see behind the scenes, what actually goes on here, for better or for worse, to see what they can do to help keep themselves safe, help protect their property, help protect their neighbours. It's not the Friendly City anymore. There's a lot of stuff that goes on that people don't actually realize. It will be nice for this group to see that and maybe have a better respect for what actually goes on here."

The Citizens Police Academy will run every Thursday at the Moose Jaw Police Station from 6 pm to 9 pm.

April 20 - Police and Crisis Team presentation and canine presentation
April 27 - Criminal Investigation Section presentation and Forensics Identification Unit presentation
May 4 - Victim Services along with service dog Sven, Community and Strategic Services presentation, Drones
May 11 - Tactical Response Team presentation, firearms