Community Police Academy

The application period for the 26th Community Police Academy is now open. Start Your Application

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In 1998, Arlington County joined a growing number of communities nationwide who were switching to Community Policing, a philosophy and practice that seeks to involve everyone in the safety and welfare of their community.  The Arlington County Community Police Academy (CPA) is a product of this philosophy.

About the Community Police Academy

The CPA is an educational program designed to create better understanding and communication between police and the community they serve. The intent of the CPA is to make participants aware of how the Arlington County Police Department operates and its role in the community. Participants are given an opportunity to increase their understanding of how police officers are trained and to experience the working environment of a police officer.

Through an immersive, multi-week experience, participants will gain knowledge and understanding of how police officers are trained, their daily work environment, and the wide scope of work they perform in service to the Arlington community. The program includes lectures, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and hands-on experiences, including a special session at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy. Some of the topics of covered in the CPA curriculum include recruitment, legal considerations, use of force, mental health, interventions, homeless outreach, community and youth outreach, criminal investigations, the K9 unit, tactical operations, and patrol operations. 

Academy Information

The CPA is an eight-week program beginning on Thursday, March 3. Classes are presented by Departmental leadership, sworn and civilian staff from across the agency and government partners. Participants will engage in thought-provoking discussions, including those about current events and best practices in law enforcement, and can ask questions of presenters throughout the program.

Classes will take place on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. One session will take place on a Saturday at an off-site location, outside of Arlington County. To receive a graduation certificate, participants must attend at least six out of eight sessions. Participants will be required to wear a mask and social distancing protocols will be in place. Should local public health mandates change, the program may shift to a virtual format, however, every effort will be made to safely hold sessions in-person.

Application Process

Interested applicants must be at least 18 years old and should live, work, attend school, or be otherwise affiliated or engaged with Arlington community organizations. Due to the nature of the material covered in the CPA, a background check and review of your criminal and police contact history will be completed on each applicant. Class size is limited, and every effort will be made to maintain a balanced enrollment reflective of Arlington’s diverse community. 

Contact Information

For more information about the CPA, contact Sergeant J. Senn of the Community Outreach Unit at

Start Your Application