Those who want to learn more about local law enforcement will have an opportunity to do so in the upcoming Citizen's Sheriff's Academy.
The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office is set to kick off its 16th Citizens Sheriff's Academy, an eight-week program developed in 1997 to promote a better understanding of law enforcement in the community. The classes can also offer more insight into the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff's Office for anyone considering a career in law enforcement.
"The Citizens Sheriff's Academy gives a good overview of the department and provides an opportunity for citizens to learn more about the Sheriff's Office," Sheriff Jeff Wigington said. "Most of those who have attended this course leave with a more positive impression of law enforcement in Rockdale County."
Brian Reents, investigator with the RCSO, said many graduates from the Citizens Sheriff's Academy have joined the Citizens Sheriff's Alumni Association, which now boasts a membership of more than 50. He said five graduates of the course have pursued careers in law enforcement and are employees of the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
The alumni participate in ride-alongs with deputies and pursue continuing education training to build on what they learned throughout the academy.
"Many go through more specialized training such as child safety seat, CPR, CERT (community emergency response training) for assisting in searches, Project Lifesaver training and more," Reents said. "The alumni are like a civilian reserve unit and provide support and volunteer hours to the Sheriff's Office during major incidents and times of need."
The Sheriff's Office is accepting applications now, and the first class is set to begin Sept. 11. The course is open to the first 20 participants who apply.
The classes will be held each Tuesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and will run from Sept. 11 to Oct. 30. Some of the topics to be covered include Emergency 911 communications, patrol, criminal investigations, jail, the courts, special operations and firearms safety.
Those interested must be a resident of Rockdale County, be at least 18 years old and pass a background check and driver's history check to be accepted.
Applications can be found online at www.rockdalesheriff.com or picked up at the Sheriff's Office, 911 Chambers Drive.
For more questions, call Investigator Brian Reents with the Rockdale Sheriff's Community Oriented Policing Unit at 770-278-8042 or email at email@example.com