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Volunteer & Community Programs
Citizens Police Academy (CPA)
The Harlingen Police Department will hold the Citizens Police Academy twice a year, in the spring and fall. The CPA classes are once a week and three hours long. The course lasts nine weeks and covers many aspects of police procedures including: Criminal Law, Court Cases, Traffic Law, Arrest Procedures, Use of Force, Handgun Training and Criminal Investigations. Academy members will also be allowed to ride along with officers in the Patrol Division. CPA Applicants must be residents of Harlingen, at least 18 years of age and pass a background check. Those interested can download an application here, fill it out and bring it to the Harlingen Police Department, or email the application to 
Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAA)
Academy members who successfully complete the Citizens Police Academy will be invited to join the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. The CPAAA is a group of academy graduates who meet once a month to discuss and help out the Police Department with events like Blue Days of Summer, National Night Out and Police Officer Memorial Week. Explorer Post #3077
Boys & girls ages 14-21 may join the Police Explorers. The Explorers are part of the Boy Scouts of America and teaches the youth leadership skills and what the duties of a police officer are. For information on how to join Police Explorers, here to download the brochure Volunteers in Policing (VIP's)click 
Citizens desiring to volunteer time assisting the Harlingen Police Department may do so through the VIP program. VIP's help out in many different areas of the Department including: Records, Special Services, Jail and Criminal Investigations Division. VIP's must be residents of Harlingen and pass a background check before being allowed to assist. No police experience is necessary, just a willingness to help our community. Those interested can download an application here, fill it out and bring it to the Harlingen Police Department. Neighborhood Crime Watch Programs
The Neighborhood Crime Watch is a community involvement program where citizens, in cooperation with the Harlingen Police Department, directly participate in the detection and prevention of crime. Citizens involved in a Neighborhood Crime Watch are trained to recognize suspicious or criminal activities and report these activities to the police. Citizens are advised to communicate with one another regarding current activities that are happening in their area. By sharing information, everyone will be able to recognize what is normal versus abnormal activity. Neighborhood Crime Watch is not a group of vigilantes or people taking the law into their own hands and does not take the place of the police by conducting law enforcement duties or apprehending criminals. TWO COMPONENTS OF NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME WATCH:
  • Neighborhood Watchers carefully watch and observe their neighborhoods (buildings, homes,   children, property) and immediately call the police if suspicious and/or criminal activity is observed.
  • Members utilize crime prevention strategies to make it much more difficult for criminals to carry out a crime within their community.
Generally, there is no cost to join a neighborhood watch program.
Any law-abiding citizen within a community can participate in a neighborhood watch. Citizens involved in neighborhood watches range from children to senior citizens. For more information call Sergeant Charles Fechner in Special Services at (956) 216-5450 or email him at

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