The Liberty County Sheriff’s Department is launching a citizen’s academy to improve understanding of how the department works and to foster relations with residents.
Beginning July 11, the 10-week academy will meet once a week for two-three hours. It is free and open to people 21 and older who live in the county.
Those enrolled will learn how officers patrol and make traffic stops, tour the jail, see how officers work crime scenes, learn about the 911 call center, court procedures and the use of deadly force. There will be a combination of lectures and riding with deputies.
LCSO Sheriff Steve Sikes said the community wanted the academy.
“We have gotten a lot of requests throughout my first year and eight months from citizens who would like to possibly get involved and really see what we do,” he said. “And I feel like an educated community could help us all to police ourselves better.”
Sikes said he asked Capt. David Edwards to research how different departments run academies.
“Capt. David Edwards has done the research on this and we know exactly what we can offer and still allow these citizens to stay safe and at the same time show them what we do on a daily basis,” Sikes said.
Edwards said the academy will educate the public.
“We are not making them police officers or reserves,” he said. “This is a tool we can use to better educate the public on the aspects of our daily job.”
Edwards said the first class will be limited to 12 people. Applications must be submitted prior to noon June 29. The application process includes consenting to a background check and certain criminal offenses could preclude an individual.
Most classes will be at the LCSO training center in the Liberty County Jail.
“This is something I think the public should be made aware of,” Sikes said. “This will allow people who we feel really want to be involved, get involved.”
Applications for enrollment may be picked up at the sheriff’s office downtown or at the jail.
For more information visit: www.libertyso.com.