Many people have an interest in law enforcement. While some have always had this interest, others have developed it from television shows such as COPS, CSI, Forensic Files, and others. Law enforcement is a unique field, and that field is often misunderstood by both its supporters and its critics. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing citizens with accurate information about agency operations and law enforcement in general. Our Citizens’ Academy is one of the means by which we provide that information.
Since the academy’s inception in January of 1998, over 300 members of the community have successfully completed the program. The Citizens’ Academy has proven to be a highly successful endeavor to educate residents of Lake County on the operations of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as issues relating to law enforcement and the judicial system in general. The Citizens’ Academy has brought the communities of Lake County closer to their Sheriff’s Office with each graduating class and in 2002; the program received the “Stars of Lake County” award for best idea of the year in Lake County.
While the program is primarily intended for members of the community simply seeking to become more informed on law enforcement issues, those contemplating a career in the field are also welcome to apply. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to that of a basic law enforcement academy. However, the overall focus of the program is to provide a better understanding of the policies and procedures of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the approach taken to provide law enforcement services to Lake County communities.
The program consists of fourteen (14), three-hour classes on Thursday evenings from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and offers both classroom and “hands-on” instruction by sheriff’s deputies, custody staff, supervisors, civilian employees and command staff who’s assignments or expertise are specific to their respective subject of training. Subject matter for the academy includes:
- The history of the office of the Sheriff
- Selection and training process for new employees
- Central Dispatch operations
- Role and responsibilities of the uniformed deputy
- Major crime investigations
- Jail operations
- Marine Patrol services
- Deadly force and firearms
- Narcotics investigations
- Domestic violence investigations
- Elder abuse investigations
- Sexual assault and crimes against children
- Coroner’s investigations
- Press relations
- Tactical (SWAT) operations
- Search and Rescue operations
- K-9 enforcement
- The Sheriff’s Chaplain Program
- Budget issues
- Judicial process in the courtroom
There is no cost to those attending the citizens’ academy. However, applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:
- Residence or employment in the County of Lake
- At least 18 years of age
- No felony convictions
- No misdemeanor convictions within three years of application
- Able to attend all fourteen classes
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