An individual can learn about police procedure by obtaining and reading textbooks that cover the subject matter, taking introductory courses in police policy and procedures at a community college, as noted by the College of San Mateo website, and attending a citizens' police academy program offered by a city or county police department. Citizens' police academies are free to the individual, as noted by the Louisville Kentucky Citizens Police Academies.
One disadvantage of either the textbook approach or the classroom approach for a person wanting to learn about police procedures can be the cost. Appropriate books for studying police procedures may not be available through public libraries. Taking a basic introductory course in police policy and procedures at a local community college has tuition costs and fees, notes the College of San Mateo.
Attendance at a citizens' police academy is a way to get a true insight as to how police departments operate. Although each police academy operates independently, there are certain similarities. Classes are conducted by trained police officers and generally meet weekly. The academy's duration is typically two to three months long. Additional outside experts are often employed to lecture on topics in their field. Topics may vary but generally include police hiring procedures, criminal law, evidence handling procedures, domestic violence, elder abuse, traffic and DWI enforcement, crime prevention, and gangs. K-9, self-defense, and firearm use demonstrations are often conducted as part of the program as noted by the Redwood City Police Academy website.