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Citizen’s Police Academy starts Tuesday

By Kelly Terpstra,

Ever wondered what goes on inside an actual police station?

Charles City residents will have a chance to find out and learn a whole lot more as the Charles City Police Department, along with NIACC, will be offering a citizen’s police academy starting Tuesday.

The free course, which will be held at the Charles City NIACC center, will be 6 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday for 10 weeks. The course includes a tour of the police department and dispatch center, as well as the Floyd County Jail and courtroom.

Capt. Brandon Franke
Capt. Brandon Franke

Topics that will be covered include learning about criminal investigations, firearms, use of force, defensive tactics, patrol, communications, equipment used by officers and many other subjects relating to the Police Department and law enforcement.

Police Capt. Brandon Franke will lead the academy. This is the second year he’s led the program and he said almost every officer on staff will teach different classes during the course of the academy.

Tuesday’s first class will focus on defensive driving, taught by Officer Dario Gamino. Franke will focus on the general operations and overview of the department. Police Chief Hugh Anderson will have a welcome meet-and-greet during the two-hour session.

“The citizen’s police academies that I have been involved in have been a really positive learning experience for me and hopefully for the citizens that take the class,” said Franke. “I would just encourage everyone that does have an interest to come and check it out.”

The department’s K-9 unit will be another feature of the academy. Officer Gamino is close to bringing his Dutch shepherd K-9 officer Jordy back to Charles City from the training site in Des Moines, Franke said.

Reserve officer Kevin Marvin will talk about the reserve officer program. There are currently three reserve officers with the department including Marvin. The department has room for a total of seven reserve officers, according to Franke.

Franke said the last time the Police Department held the citizen’s academy it conducted mock traffic stops and narcotic searches at the Cedar Valley Transportation Center.

Community involvement is a key facet of a well-functioning police department and this gives anyone over the age of 16 the chance to take part in an exciting and informative learning experience, he said.

“Community involvement is huge in what we do,” said Franke. “It’s a good class to get citizens to kind of have an idea of what we do and how we do it and how they can help us do that from their perspective. They need to work with us — we need to work with them to solve things.”

Right now, Franke said, there are 12 people registered for the academy and there is a limit of 25. Anybody wanting to participate can register up until Tuesday or at the first day of class. The course ends on November 20.

To register, contact NIACC at or call 641-422-4358. NIACC’s business hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday to Friday. Direct questions to Capt. Franke or Chief Anderson at 641-228-3366.