Some time in mid to late July I was stumbling around the Washington County Sheriff’s website, when I found an application form for a “Citizen’s Academy”.
Now, while some of you may remember, I had once entertained the idea of becoming a Sheriff’s Deputy in Orange County. I had even gone as far as the application and testing processes. (Long story short, I didn’t get in, which turned out for the best anyways. Perhaps I’ll write about that experience in an upcoming entry…) With that said, my interest was piqued and I read on to learn more about what this Academy actually is. Following is what I found:
From the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy Website:
“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is proud to offer Citizen Academy #19 this fall. The Citizen Academy is a continuing effort to help develop citizen awareness and understanding of the role of law enforcement in our communities. The academy is designed for citizens of all backgrounds and occupations.
“What is the Citizen Academy?
“The Citizen Academy provides over 50 hours of training that consists of classroom and “hands-on” instruction. Classes give citizens an opportunity to observe the inner workings of their Sheriff’s Office. Students are actively involved in many interesting activities such as using police equipment, participating in jail activities, and several role-play scenarios. Sheriff’s Office personnel from many fields explain and demonstrate the duties and responsibilities of their jobs, and participants will tour the Sheriff’s Office, and other criminal justice facilities. This is an interactive program, so student questions and comments are encouraged throughout.
“Some of the topics that we include are Officer Selection and Training, various duties within the Sheriff’s Office, Jail Operations, Patrol Operations, Investigations, Tactical Operations, Canine Team, Traffic Safety Unit, Use of Firearms, Narcotic Trends, Judicial System, Crime Scene Investigations and Crime Prevention.”
Being new to the entire PNW, I figured this would be a great way to learn more about the county we moved to. So I applied. In fact, this is what I wrote for the “Why do you want to attend” portion of the application:
As a new citizen to the Washington County areas, I feel that the “Citizen Academy” will help me learn about the county’s law enforcement personnel and policies, as well as help me improve my own expertise in all areas of instruction provided by the academy. I believe that knowledge is always a good thing, and that by attending the “Citizen Academy”, I will graduate with not only a better understanding of law enforcement in my own community, but will also have a more refined skillset to utilize in furthering my own community involvement.
Ok, so I admit it may -sound- like a heap of hokey bullshit, but I assure you it isn’t. I really AM interested in everything the academy presents. I have always found Law Enforcement to be an intriguing line of work and enjoy learning as much as I can about all facets. Having narrowly escaped becoming a Corrections Officer, I can’t say I’d ever want to work in the jail system or on beat patrol, but many of the unseen jobs within the department are just as fascinating, and I want to learn more!
Well, I am happy to say I received my acceptance letter in the mail today indicating all I needed to know for the first class, ie. time/place, what to bring, etc. Barring any stupidity on my part, I should “graduate” at the end of November. I’m not sure what that exactly means, but I liken it to receiving a certificate of participation from any other type of training seminar.
I am quite excited by this, as it gets me out of the house and away from the normal work routine. Because I work from home, I am finding it difficult to actually leave the house during the week (and often times on the weekend as well). This Academy not only gives me a good reason to leave the house on weeknights, but will provide me with some new knowledge on a topic that interests me… all for the low, low cost of Free! How can you beat that? Sounds like a win/win to me.