Citizen’s Observer Program

The Dothan Police Department sponsors a Citizens’ Observer Program (COP). The program allows citizens from our community to be exposed to the challenges and pressures faced by an officer in a typical day of duty. The main goals of the program are to assist the observer in understanding the role of law enforcement in the community, the training that officers must complete to be successful and the stress that officers see in a typical day.

The observer will undergo training program designed to provide them with information that officers must use in their day-to-day activities. This training will explain some of the reasons why officers do the things they do especially during interactions with the public.

The observer will also receive safety and procedural training to compliment the observation portion of the program. Each observer is encouraged to complete a four-hour observation period with a member of the Dothan Police Department to see how officers operate in a typical day. During this period, observers will ride in a patrol vehicle with a member of the department’s patrol division and personally observe actual police responses to calls for service.

How to Participate

Observers must be 19-years-of-age or older and must submit an application and waiver of liability to participate. There is no charge to participate and a basic background investigation is required. Observers will be selected based on program availability and notified of the next training sessions to attend. Contact the Dothan Police Department Community Service Division at (334) 793-0230 for more information on participating in the Citizens’ Observer Program.

Download: 2020 COP Application Form