Citizen's Police Academy

An Experience of a Lifetime!



Spring CPA Begins March 22, 2023


Each spring the Vernon Hills Police Department hosts a program known as the Citizen's Police Academy (CPA).  Twelve lucky residents, age 21 and over, get to participate in this program. The CPA is a free 10-week program in which participants meet once a week for 2.5 to 3 hours each week to learn about law enforcement. In fact, they don't just learn about any law enforcement, but specifically Vernon Hills law enforcement.

In the past, members of the CPA have ranged from individuals considering law enforcement as a career to senior citizens who wish to learn more about their police department. Sometimes husbands and wives participate in the class together.

Program Details

Highlights of the CPA include a lesson in the safe use of firearms and a ride-along with an officer on patrol. Members also have an opportunity to experience the MILO simulator.  MILO is a computerized judgmental police training device that uses laser-equipped weaponry. That's a fancy way of saying it's like an interactive video game.


To give you a better idea of the program, here are the topics we cover:

  • Communications 
  • Patrol Operations
  • Traffic Law Enforcement
  • Traffic Stops
  • Use of Force / Handcuffing
  • Firearms Training
  • Evidence Collection 
  • Responding to an Active Shooter
  • Ethics
  • DUI Laws and Enforcement
  • Investigations
  • Ride-along with a police officer

 Click the links shown here to follow the CPA week.

Read/download CPA pamphlet


The CPA has been a very popular and well-critiqued program since its inception in 1994. Names are always welcome to be placed on a waiting list for future classes. It's worth the wait!

Interested residents should contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 847-247-4889 or via email.

Don't live in Vernon Hills? 

Although Vernon Hills was one of the first communities in the area to offer a Citizen's Police Academy for its residents, the concept is nationwide. All citizens are encouraged to contact your local police department to learn about the availability of a CPA where you live.


More information can be obtained by visiting the Illinois Citizens Police Academy Association and the National Citizens Police Academy Association.