Citizens Police Academy

The NIU Police Department Citizens Police Academy is an 11-week program started in the spring of 2016 to open the lines of communication between the community and the police department.


  • Build trust through open dialoge about current trends and issues between police and the campus community.
  • Strengthen relationships and partnerships through engagement, awareness and education.
  • Provide experiential learning opportunities through practical exercises with police officers, radios and equipment.

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Program Overview

The program consists of classroom lecture and practical application.

Classroom lecture: includes presentations, case studies and discussions on police procedures by members of the police department who specialize in the topic of discussion.

Practical application: you will engage in scenarios where you will navigate a response to a simulated situation. After each session, we will review actions taken and discuss real-world outcomes.

Select Lessons


Tour our facilities and telecommunications center. Dispatchers will explain the process and procedures in the dispatch centers to include the E-911 system, phone call handling and radio dispatch of police and fire units.

Traffic Law/DUI

We'll exlpore the Illinois Vehicle Code violations, felony stops and DUI laws. You will also engage in scenario training and conduct traffic stops with officers.

Defensive Tactics

Provides techniques and considerations that officers use while engaging suspects such as: applying handcuffs, escorts, searches, etc. You will have the opportunity to perform specific techniques within the use of force continuum.

Evidence/Crime Scene Investigtaions

Examine process and procedures of evidence collection and crime scene investigations.

Building Searches and Use of Force

Discuss/explore the types of building searches and responses to various calls. You'll have the opportunity to utilize the training and tactics to conduct building searches in simulated scenarios.

Mock Trial

Participate in a mock trial in an effort to understand criminal law and practice critical thinking. You will experience first-hand the difficulties that judges, lawyers and juries face in determining which facts are relevant and what legal arguments are effective.

Classes are open to all community members, NIU faculty, staff and students. Sessions meet once a week from 6:30-9 pm.