Community Academy

Congratulations to our 32 Community Academy graduates who completed our program on May 3, 2023! Applications for our 2024 Community Academy will open December 1, 2023.

Since the early 2000s, the Ventura Police Department has been hosting a bi-annual Community Academy to strengthen community partnerships and increase transparency. This free program will take participants on a patrol ride-along, provide interactive trainings, showcase hands-on activities that provide an inside look at local policing, and much more. Each night features a new topic with different speakers, demonstrations, and discussions.

The success of any police department depends largely upon the collaboration and support it receives from the residents it serves. It's our hope that by opening our doors and demystifying police operations, we can work together to make Ventura a safer place to live, work, and play.

Topics of discussion:

  • Patrol Operations, Dispatch, Investigations, Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), SWAT Team, Crisis Negotiations, Training, Recruitment, Use of Force, Traffic Unit and DUI Checkpoints, Alcohol Enforcement Unit, K9 Unit, School Resource Officers, Homeless Services, Volunteer Program, Wellness Program, Explorer Program, Neighborhood Watch, and Community Outreach efforts.

2023 Class Schedule:

  • Dates: March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22, March 29, April 5, April 12, April 19, April 26, May 3
  • Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Location: Eight classes will be held at the Ventura Police Department located at 1425 Dowell Drive. 
    • The class on March 22 will be held at the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center located at 106 Durley Avenue in Camarillo. Participants are responsible for transportation to and from this facility.
    • The class on April 19 will be held at the Ventura County Jail. Details will be shared once this field trip has been confirmed with Ventura County Sheriff's Office staff. Participants are responsible for transportation to and from this facility.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years old
  • Live or own a business in the City of Ventura
  • Pass a criminal background check with no misdemeanor convictions in the past two years, and no felony convictions
  • Participate in an in-person interview
  • Commit to attending all classes

Community Academy participants are selected by the Ventura Police Department through the application process. Due to the sensitive nature of some subjects being presented in the Community Academy, a criminal background check and in person interview will be conducted with all individuals applying for participation.


For any questions regarding the Ventura Police Community Academy, please contact Community Outreach Specialist, Emily Graves, at 805-339-4312 or via email.

2022 Community Academy-4.6.22
2022 Community Academy- Night 6
2022 Community Academy- Night 4
2022 Community Academy- Night 2

What is expected of participants:

  • Attendance: We have a strict attendance policy. You are allowed two absences throughout the program. Should you miss a combined total of more than two sessions, you will not graduate with your class. Please take note of all dates and communicate and coordinate in advance with your employer and/or consider any other obligations you may have that may affect your participation. Any absences should be communicated in advance (if possible) to our Community Outreach Specialist, Emily Graves, via email or by calling 805-339-4312.
  • Engagement with our presenters and activities. Be present in session exercises and group activities.