Citizens Police Academy


In the fall of 2022, the Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department and Johnston Police Department held their first Citizens Academy. The Academy is aimed to educate attendees on the roles of police officers and firefighters within the government's operations. Through the 10-week series of expert-led workshops, participants gained a greater understanding of the mental, physical, and emotional demands of the job. The Academy also helped familiarize residents with the City of Johnston and its various services. Overall, the program successfully raised awareness and provided valuable insights into public safety services.

2023 Citizens Police Academy

The upcoming academy will exclusively cover police training and is set to commence on September 14, 2023. The classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. until November 16, 2023. There will be no session on September 21, 2023. Below is a list of the class agendas.

  • September 14: Welcome, introductions and traffic stop introduction.
  • September 21: No class 
  • September 28: Mock traffic stops and possible bodycam review
  • October 5: CSI and evidence
  • October 12: Investigations
  • October 19: De-escalation and DT demonstration/scenario
  • October 26: Basic firearms and simulations
  • November 2: Justice system, School Resource Officers and community policing
  • November 9: Graduation 

Applications and Contact

For more information on the Citizens Police Academy, please contact Sergeant Grandon at 515-278-2345, or by email


Individuals who are 18 years or older and either reside in the City of Johnston or have business connections within the community are eligible to participate in the Citizens Police Academy.

  • Cost: Attending Citizens Police Academy is free
  • Time Commitment: Participating in the eight-week academy requires a time commitment. Classes are typically held once a week in the evening and last for about three hours.

Covered Topics

During the Academy, participants were instructed on police topics related to the following.

  • Calls for Service (Response)
  • Community Policing
  • Traffic Enforcement and Tactical Operations (Participants perform a mock traffic stop)
  • Justice System 
  • Crime Scene Management
  • Investigation Press and Evidence
  • Crime Lab
  • Investigations
  • Community Policing
  • De-escalation Processes
  • K9 Operations
  • Firearms Simulator Scenarios
  • School Resource Officers
  • Community Affairs Coordinator’s Focus on Building Relationships 
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Frequently asked questions

Who can attend?
The Police Academy is open to Johnston residents 18 years of age and older. The Fire Academy is open to Johnston and Grimes residents age 18 and older. Academy sessions are free.

Date and location?
The Academy sessions are held on Thursday evenings at the Johnston Public Safety Building. Times and dates for class two have not yet been announced. 

When can I apply? 
Applications will open in the spring of 2023 for the fire class and in the summer of 2023 for the police class. 

What’s earned at the conclusion?
Participants receive a certificate upon completion of the Academy. They also walk away with a wealth of knowledge about the departments and can answer basic questions from community members. 

What will the classes be like? 
The classes are comprised of 6-8  sessions, which last two to three hours. The course covers different operations including: Use of Force, Crime Scene Investigations, Community Policing, Fire Operations, Firefighting tactics and physical demands to ensure participants receive the full experience of what it takes to become a member of the Johnston Police or Johnston-Grimes Fire Departments. 

Will the fire and police Academy be combined?
No. The second class sessions will be divided into police and fire sessions separately. Participants can apply to enter the Academy depending on their level of interest. 

Will I be required to perform functions or have obligations to the departments as a result of attending the Citizens Academy? 
Not at all. The Citizens Academy was formed to offer interested parties a firsthand look at the day-to-day operations, capabilities and functions of the members within the Johnston Police and Johnston-Grimes Fire Departments. 

Are there accommodations for people with disabilities?
If you require special accommodations, we ask you to communicate those needs to us in advance during the application process, so we can evaluate them on a case-by-case basis. 

Are there any costs associated with the Citizens Academy?
No. The Fire and Police Departments cover the cost of the background check, shirts and any materials needed.

What if I am unable to attend all of the sessions?
We encourage participants to take part in all of the sessions, but we understand untimed events do occur. We would ask that you communicate with the instructors in advance, if you are unable to make it to a session.