PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Day one of Toledo's Citizens Police Academy and students are already learning the inner workings of the department.
"I think it's a lot more intense that most people think it is," said student Michael Leibovitz.
The group of 26 students will spend the next nine Wednesdays together learning and doing many of the tasks officers do on a daily basis.
"They're going to have an abridged version of our police academy and they're going to leave here with a much better appreciation of what true law enforcement is like," said Chief George Kral.
Along with academics students get the chance to ride along with officers and even process crime scenes.
It's an opportunity students hope gives them a better understanding of what officers go through.
"We need to figure out how we can better serve our community while working with the police," said student Brenda Kaczmarek. "So, I think learning the inner workings of the police department is a part of that."
The first class of 2018 comes after the city recorded six murders in January alone.
Earlier in the week Chief Kral and the mayor came together calling for people to report crimes in their neighborhoods.
By offering opportunities like the citizens academy, Chief Kral hopes Toledoans will feel comfortable asking his officers for help.
"The hope is when these folks graduate they're going to feel much more confident calling us because they know what we're going to do and they know our procedures," said Kral. "So this was really an opportune time for this to start."
Toledo police plans to hold another class in about six months.
You can find a link to the application for the next session in the sidebar of this story.