Have you ever thought about what it would be like putting yourself into the shoes of an everyday police officer? Driving a patrol car, making routine traffic stops, and recognizing when an everyday scenario turns into a life-threatening situation.

Twice a year, the Sparks Police Department invites people to suit up in a first responders uniform. It is called 'The Citizen Police Academy.' 

"Every single day, on every single call, every single traffic stop and every time a man or woman puts on a police uniform there is inherent danger in doing so," said Officer Ken Gallop with the Sparks Police Department. 

The Citizens Police Academy is a 10 week opportunity for members of the Northern Nevada community to not only see the dangers first hand that sparks police officers often face, but it's also a chance for people to take part in the training that's required before an individual is hired into the police force.

"They want to come in and drive the police car during emergency vehicle operations," said Gallop. "They want to come in and participate in range related training and see what actual training that officers go through."

As this class of 25 individuals will tell you, being a police officer once a day for 10 weeks hasn't been easy.

"It's nerve wracking, walking up to the car but it's also exciting, kind of an adrenaline rush," said Katarina Smith from Reno. 

"Be careful, be alert, be aware of your surroundings,"said Walker Hamilton. 

Whether it be taking part in life-like drills, or even learning lessons in a classroom setting, each participant has gained a better appreciation and understanding of a police officer's daily duties. 

"Actually seeing what can go wrong and what does happen to police officers, I mean it is scary," said Hamilton. 

"'I think it's really beneficial for any citizen who's interested in how the community works how the police force works or if they're interested in joining," said Smith

"Working together with our community is absolutely the way that we're going to make our community a better place to work live and play and that's for everyone," said Gallop.

Click here to learn more about the Citizen Police Academy