SPOKANE, Wash. -

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a Spokane Police Officer? More than two dozen people are gaining insight into police investigations, policy and procedures through the Spokane Police Department Citizen's Academy.

The five week course takes an in-depth look at police work. During the academy, students go through comprehensive training. Each of the classes are taught by police officers and consist of lectures, interactive discussions and hands-on exercises.

"Community engagement is important. We work for the citizens and it's important for them to see what their police department does and have direct feedback from them on our performance," Lt. Mark Griffiths, Spokane Police Department, said.

The first class kicked off Thursday night. The first half focused on body cameras, how they work and how officers use them. Police say while the cameras can't pick up everything they see, the video can help show what happened in an incident and provide protection to police.

The second half of class talked about patrol procedures, which is how officers behave on their shifts. The class learned everything from where police can park their patrol cars when responding to calls to how officers react in situations.

Most students say they hope to gain a better understanding of what police do over the next month. One student, Colleen Langdon, helps teach deaf rights and emergency sign language to law enforcement across the country. She's hoping to learn more about police work.

"Since I work with police officers all over, I really thought that I should get a better understanding of exactly what it is that they have to go through and what they do on a daily basis," Langdon said.

This same group will go through four more classes learning about use of force, Major Crimes, SWAT and K9. They'll graduate at the end of the month.

This class is full, but the program has been around for 20 years. Police say they're working on offering more free classes this year.