IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - As home burglaries surge in Bonneville County, area law enforcement said citizens can help knock the crime rate back down.
Sherri Barnes finally decided to live her childhood fantasy in 2010, when the housewife signed up for the Citizens Police Academy with the Idaho Falls Police Department.
"I used to pretend I was an emergency response person, even when I was a little girl," Barnes said.
Applications for the spring class are now being accepted. IFPD spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen says spots fill up quickly and that the class is action-packed.
"They'll do crime scene investigation, they'll talk about building clearing, they'll talk about traffic stops," Hansen said. "They'll even get a chance to do what we call EVOC training, which is how police officers drive in high-speed chases and things like that, to going out to the gun range and shooting."
The class is a requirement for anyone who wants to join the Citizens Watch Patrol, which Barnes eventually did.
"It's so much fun to be able to get to know some of the police officers better, and to really appreciate what they do for us," Barnes said.
"It's such a value to the department," Hansen said of the CWP.
If you can't get into the academy, or if it's just not for you, you can still fight crime from your desk or in the palm of your hand, thanks to AlertID.
AlertID is an interactive web site and app, which allows anyone to log in, view hourly updates of crimes near any address, send out information, ask for help and get crime-prevention advice.
"It kind of utilizes the technology of social media," Hansen said, as users can email, tweet or post updates to Facebook through AlertAlertID in Bonneville CountyID.
The service is available in Idaho Falls and throughout Bonneville County.
"It does help reduce crime and different activities in your neighborhood, because people are more aware of what's going on," Hansen said.
Anyone can apply for the Citizen's Police Academy through April 3. The class begins on April 10.
AlertID in Idaho Falls: https://alertid.com/IDAHOFALLS/
AlertID in Bonneville County: https://alertid.com/BONNEVILLE/