The City offers several programs to help residents discover more about their local government and community. Want more ways to get involved and engaged in the decision-making process? Visit the City's Get Engaged web page for a current list of public engagement programs, surveys, public input opportunities, and more.
INSIGHT Citizen's Academy
The INSIGHT program is a series of informational sessions organized to serve as a "tool box" of information to help residents navigate through the complex system of local government operations and services while exploring their city, meeting City leaders and elected officials, touring facilities and engaging in meaningful discussions. Discover not only how decisions are made by the City of Winchester but most importantly, why. The program is designed to improve communication between citizens and government, while fostering increased citizen involvement, practices and services. Classes begin in January each year. Click here for more information.
Citizen's Police Academy
The Citizen's Police Academy is a free 10-week training program that provides citizens with an inside look at local law enforcement and its challenges. The instructors in the program are law enforcement officers and other public officials. The purpose of the Citizen's Academy is to develop a positive relationship between the police and the community through education. Graduates of the academy are eligible to serve the Police Department and the community as a VIP (Volunteer in Policing). The VIP program is registered through the National Volunteers in Police Services.
The Winchester Police Department also offers a Teen Citizen's Police Academy (ages 13-17) and a Junior Academy (ages 5-8).
Click here for more information about upcoming programs.
Kids and Cops Camp
This award-winning program, held in June each year, is designed to provide children (ages 9-12) with the opportunity to learn about law enforcement and to start friendships with police officers. During the camp, participants will learn teamwork, leadership, and discipline. Camp activities include field trips, guest speakers, pool activities, and a community service project. Applications are made available in April each year at Winchester Parks & Recreation (Jim Barnett Park).
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began promoting nationwide use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept in 1994. The Frederick-Winchester Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) has supported this goal and implements the training program. The goal is to train volunteer community members, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area.
UPDATE: Program suspended (as of May 2022). Volunteers are needed for Community Emergency Response Team. Be prepared to help yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community in an emergency or disaster. If you live in Winchester or Frederick County you are invited to become a member of CERT. Citizens who attend and complete the training program will meet the criteria to assist and support first responders during and after a major emergency or disaster situation.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Learn more about other volunteer opportunities offered by the City of Winchester.