UNDATED -- Once again this fall you can get first-hand learning about what it is like to be a police officer.

The sign-up period is now for the annual Metro Citizens Police Academy. The police departments of St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park are all accepting applications from residents in their communities, as well as the Stearns County Sheriff's Office for residents who live in rural parts of the county.

St. Cloud Police Sergeant Tad Hoeschen says participants will learn about a variety of topics over the eight-week course.

We start out talking about the use of force, the laws and the statutes and why we do what we do, and then we'll go into hands on stuff where we'll actually go to a gun range and we'll show them why we train our officers how we do with the firearms that we have.  They can even have the opportunity to get tazed if they want.

The classes are on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. beginning September 8th and running for eight weeks through October 27th. You must commit to attending the curriculum in its entirety.

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You can apply for the program through the police department in your town.

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