TOWN OF BELOIT - Stakeholders wanting to discover the inner workings of the Town of Beloit will have their chance, as applications for the 2019 Citizens Academy are now open.
This is the third year the township is offering this hands-on way for residents to learn about how the municipality's departments operate. Applications are due by March 29, and as of Tuesday there were still spots available.
Mill said the Academy is a program for citizens, business owners, employees and community partners to learn about how the town's government is organized.
The academy runs for nine consecutive weeks from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesdays from April 10-June 5, with a graduation dinner on June 12. Liane Mills, special projects coordinator, said the classes will kick off with an introduction and welcome at the Town of Beloit Fire Station One with an overview of the fire department and a discussion of what it takes to be a firefighter, paramedic or a police officer. She said this year's academy will offer an expanded look into what it's like to be a firefighter and paramedic as well as a police officer.
"We want to demonstrate our resources and show our services to the town," Mills said. "We also want to be transparent about our services, because transparency is a priority for us."
The topics to be addressed throughout the classes include: Tours of all town buildings, and a look into active shooter drills, emergency care, fire and emergency medical services, defensive tactics, firearms, drug and crime scene investigations and the work done by the town treasurer, administrator and public works department.
Lt. LeAnn Jones, of the Town of Beloit Police Department, said all of the town's departments have been working together to host the academy.
"It's been a great program for us to bring the community to see what we do here in the town," Jones said.
The academy will include two nights at Blackhawk Technical College, with simulations on when officers should and should not shoot as well as a fire simulation.
"We want to make the community feel like they're really a part of the town," Mills said.
This year, Mills said the town also added a dementia live training and a discussion on human trafficking in the area. Mills said this includes what human trafficking is and how big of an issue it is in the Stateline Area. This portion of the class will be led by Jen Lorenz, a nurse at Mercyhealth.
"One thing to note is that survivors and perpetrators can be all sorts of people," Mills said.
A limited number of spots area available. Those interested in applying can fill out the short application, which can be found at bit.ly/2JaQ0nm. Completed applications can be emailed to Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to 2871 S. Afton Road, Beloit, Wis., 53511.