The Citizen’s Police Academy Symposium / Conference concept was born in September 1993, in Duncanville, Texas (near Dallas, Texas). Officer Ray Ramon and Mr. Tom Bryson of the Duncanville Police Department, both active in North Texas Crime Prevention Association, approached Chief Michael Courville with the concept. With the help of several members of law enforcement of the North Texas area (one being Officer Chris B. Gescheidle of the Richardson Police Department) the first Symposium was held that same month in Duncanville, and was attended by approximately 47 people from around Texas. With the interest (and curiosity) developed by the initial Symposium, a second was held 1994 and was hosted by the Gainesville Police Department, the Gainesville CPA Alumni, Officer Buck Tatem and Chief Carl Dunlap.
This Symposium was attended by over 230 people from Texas and several other states and from as far away as Hawaii. The following year,1995, a third Symposium was hosted by the Sugar Land CPA Alumni, Officer Joe Jeffery and Chief Earnest Taylor along with several area police departments. Well over 300 people from several states attended. It was at this event that the National CPAA idea and concept was officially discussed at a meeting held during the Symposium. Attendees included, Officer Joe Jeffrey (Sugar Land), Officer Buck Tatem (Gainesville), Sugar Land CPAA President Gary Hawkins, Officer Ray Ramon, Mr. Tom Bryson, and Chief Michael Courville (all from Duncanville), Officer Michael Koster (Aurora, Illinois), and Officer Ron Sartor (Midland, Texas). Additionally, Mr. Jim Ponzini (Little Rock, Arkansas), and Lois Welling (Police Training Institute, Champaign, Illinois), were also present.
The next year, 1996, the CPAA Symposium was held in Midland, Texas hosted by Officer Ron Sartor, Chief Richard Czech and the Midland CPA Alumni. It is important to note that during the 1996, 1997, and 1998 Symposiums, the concept of a National Citizen’s Police Academy Association was discussed and plans were put into motion. By 1998, interested parties had formed into a Board of Directors and held their first meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas. Members were Buck Tatum, Mike Koster, Ron Sartor, Mike Courville, Lois Welling, Dave Kundrot, Diana Lawler, Dave Smith, Jim Ponzini and Jennifer Bartsch. At this meeting, the first By-Laws were created, members recruited, and a decision to solicit hosts for the future symposiums was made. The original Site Committee Selection Team was Buck Tatem, Dave Kundrot and Jim Ponzini. They were selected because of their experience in hosting a nation-wide conference.
The first formal election for NCPAA Board Members was held in Lombard, Illinois, in 1999, at the National Symposium. Mike Koster (Aurora, Illinois) became the Second President of the NCPAA. Also elected at the Lombard Symposium were Craig Pitman (Reno, Nevada) as Vice President, Rob Sindern (Baraboo, Wisconsin) as Treasurer, and Executive Board Member Saundra Ligon (Columbia, South Carolina).