CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Police Department is accepting applications for the 18th Charleston Citizens Police Academy course. The academy will begin on March 5 and end with a graduation ceremony on April 30.The academy sessions will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday at the Charleston Police Department Training center. Applicants must be at least 18 and pass a criminal background check. There are no physical requirements and there is no fee to attend the program.The program is designed to foster understanding between members of the community and the Police Department. Attendees will be introduced to the various roles the Police Department plays in the community.Members will be given an "inside" look at how the Police Department operates on a daily basis. Participants will be provided hands-on practical training exercises such as police driving simulators, firearms instruction and an optional ride-along with a patrol officer.Each session will be led by experienced police personnel and guest speakers from all facets of the law enforcement community.For more information, contact the Community Services Division at 304-348-6470 or obtain an application online by visiting www.charlestonwvpolice.org.