Citizens Academy

Citizens Academy Class 2019

About "Citizens Academy"

The Citizens Academy is a twelve-week program designed to provide Mount Vernon residents first hand information about how their Police Department operates. Participants will find out what it's like to be a police officer in Mount Vernon, and learn the inherent dangers and stress in law enforcement. Academy members will also become familiar with the Department's policing philosophy.

Purpose of our Citizens Academy

To open our doors to the community and, through education, to increase communications and understanding between citizens and the police. Together, it is easier to identify neighborhood and community problems and effect realistic solutions.

Citizens Academy 2020, Class 26

The next Citizens Academy will begin February 6, 2020. We will meet every Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Police Department for 12 weeks. Mock Scene Day will be on Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Graduation will be on the night of April 23, 2020.  

UPDATE:  Due to COVID restrictions, Citizens Academy class 26 was suspended in March 2020 after session 5. Starting July 15, 2021, Class 26 will re-convene to complete the full 12-week training calendar. Graduation for Class 26 will occur on Thursday, September 2nd. Dates for Citizens Academy Class 27 (2022) are still being determined.  Check back here for more details.

Academy Instructors

Academy instructors are police officers, Department personnel, and guest speakers. Each instructor teaches in his/her area of expertise, and has years of training and experience.


Topics include the Departments' vision, mission, goals and values; domestic violence; gangs; police tactical operations; drug enforcement; use of force; T.E.A.M.; Patrol; Investigations; Crime Prevention; Records Keeping; constitutional law and more.

Mock Scene Day

During mock scene day, participants are provided a hands-on opportunity to experience split-second decision-making situations that police officers face daily. They are given the opportunity to ride along with an on-duty police officer, tour the Skagit County Jail, and sit with a dispatcher at the 9-1-1 center. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and discuss topics with the instructors.

Participant Selection

The department's goal is that Citizens Academy participants reflect the diverse population of our community. Anyone age 18 or older is encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Applications are available online and in person at the Mount Vernon Police Department, 1805 Continental Place.


Feel free to email questions or comments to the Crime Prevention Supervisor.

Read about additional crime prevention information.