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Programs & Services /  Citizen Police Academy

The Amherst Police established its Citizen Police Academy in February 1996.

The Citizen Police Academy was designed to further the close relationship which already exists between the police officers and the citizens of Amherst to increase mutual understanding; furthering the goals of “Community Policing” in general.

Through a series of thirteen consecutive sessions, selected citizens from all walks of life are taken through this comprehensive “exposure” course by their officer-instructors. By meeting and interacting with each other, barriers are broken down, friendships are formed and stereotypes are dispelled. The student leaves with an understanding of the role of police officers in our community.

Citizen students are given a tour of headquarters. Demonstrations are conducted by our two K-9 dogs “Max and Chase," as well as the Emergency Response Team. Also included are overviews of recent homicides, narcotics cases, and family offense investigations. Evidence team procedures, crime prevention, safety education are also reviewed.

In addition, students are given the opportunity to shoot weapons on the range. A tour of duty in a patrol car accompanying a uniformed officer culminates the experience. The program is always evolving and improving, being modified by suggestions from the students and instructors.

Graduates have included representatives from varied backgrounds including the Town Supervisor, Town council members, physicians, homemakers, chamber of commerce members, newspaper and radio columnists. Thus far, the positive feedback has indicated that the Amherst Citizen Police Academy has been a resounding success in producing positive public opinion.

The sessions are normally scheduled starting in February. Classes are held at Amherst Police Headquarters on Tuesday evenings. Class size is limited to twenty-five students. All applicants must be residents of the Town of Amherst and at least 19 years of age.  For more information on the academy or to apply for attendance at an upcoming session, contact Officer Craig Johnson (716) 689-1372 or Captain Stephen McGonagle, (716) 689-1309.

Printable Application

There will also be a ride along with an officer for a tour of duty scheduled at your convenience. All classes are 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Amherst Police Headquarters.

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2018. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000.

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Get in Touch

  • General Information:
    (716) 631-7000
  • Email:
    toainfo@amherst.ny.us
  • Address:
    Municipal Building (Town Hall)
  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221