The "CITIZEN POLICE ACADEMY" concept started in England. It was first adopted in this country by the Orlando, Florida Police Department in 1985. The Leon County Sheriff's Office version is simply called the "CITIZEN'S ACADEMY". It is modeled after the Orlando academy and designed to promote better understanding between the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Leon County.
The Leon County Sheriff's Office Citizen's Academy offers a different and exciting program unique to our area. Indeed, the curriculum and training are not what you might expect. Typically, the students attracted to the academy are a culturally diverse group of people including bankers, businessmen and women, judges, housewives, school teachers, media representatives, retirees and citizens from all walks of life.
Participants meet one evening a week for 10 weeks. They learn about virtually every aspect of a deputy's job including recruiting, administration, patrol operations, traffic enforcement and communications, criminal law, SWAT and hostage negotiations, crime scene investigations, corrections and many other areas.
The Citizen's Academy doesn't limit participants to classroom training. Students are given the opportunity to:
- Ride-a-long with a deputy
- Tour of the Leon County Detention Facility
- Tour of the Leon County Courthouse
- Tour of the Public Safety Complex
- Attend a SWAT demonstration at our local training facility
- Shoot some of the high powered weapons used by officers
- Interactive participation in simulated officer encounters
Although graduates of the Citizens Academy are not qualified for daily street duty, they do acquire a better understanding of the Leon County Sheriff's Office operations and responsibilities, as well as, a greater awareness and appreciation of the difficult challenges and decisions a deputy sheriff faces every day, We at the Leon County Sheriff's Office believe that education leads to a better understanding between citizens and law enforcement.
Community involvement is the most powerful force any law enforcement agency has in the fight against crime. Through the Citizens Academy, citizens become more involved in making Tallahassee and Leon County a better place to live.
Applicants are selected to attend the Citizens Academy after first submitting a completed online application and pending the outcome of a background inquiry.
Potential candidate’s names are then selected by lottery. Class size is set at thirty (30) participants.
For more information contact Executive Director of Community and Media Relations Shonda Knight at (850) 606-3270.