North Riverside Police Chief Anthony Garvey announced Monday that his agency will be launching a Citizens Police Academy, a 10-week program aimed at educating residents and business owners about how the department operates.

The program begins Oct. 11 and ends Dec. 13 and will be held each Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the police department, 2359 Desplaines Ave. The academy is being coordinated by Tom Tauer, a retired North Riverside police officer and former deputy chief.

While the Citizens Police Academy won’t provide police training, participants can get a behind-the-scenes look at how police operate, and classes will include demonstrations and hands-on exercises as well as lectures from law enforcement professionals.

“The purpose of the CPA program is to bring the police and the community closer together and is based on the concept that informed and educated citizens will be more supportive of law enforcement and will be more productive in their community,” said Garvey in a press release.

The free program is open to residents and business owners 18 and older. Class sizes are limited and anyone who applies will have to submit to a background and reference check.

The deadline for registration is Sept. 28, and applications are available at the police department and online at the village’s website, www.northriverside-il.org.

-Bob Uphues