Citizens academy comes back to BCSO
by Jessica Loeding
Aug 09, 2013 | 1161 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff Report

As part of its community involvement efforts, the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office once again plans to host a Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy.

Last fall, the course returned after a four-year absence with another session held this spring.

“Back in ’08 when we had to cease doing this because of our economic issues, the sheriff was really upset about having to stop doing it. He enjoyed it. He knew you guys were getting educated on what was going on, so he was really upset about it,” BCSO Capt. Mike Shinall told the 2012 class.

Over the course of 11 weeks, participants are exposed to all areas of law enforcement. From firearms and personal safety to court and warrant services, students are educated on the department’s role in public safety — the goal of the class, according to Sheriff Clark Millsap.

“See, I’ve said in the past that, you know, out here on the road I’ve got 10 to 12 officers a night. That’s 20 to 24 sets of eyes. There’s 100,000-something people in this county,” Millsap previously told The Daily Tribune News. “This, I hope, will bring them to where they want to get involved because you fall into that old stigma, ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ and they’ll turn a blind eye to it. When if they had just picked up the phone and said, ‘Hey, such and such and so and so, and I know that’s just happened.’ If they saw a dope deal go down or if they saw something they thought might fixing to be happening and they just [thought], ‘I saw that when I was in that class.’ Call 911.

“... The more calls we get the more we can help slow down crime in this county. People will get involved.”

Applications for the fall session — classes begin Thursday, Oct. 3, meeting 11 Thursdays and one Saturday through Dec. 12 — are available from the administrative division of BCSO and are due by Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Along with learning about K-9 operations and narcotics from the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, jail and patrol divisions, criminal investigations, terrorism and CPR, participants also will have the opportunity to ride with the deputies, work in the jail or work courthouse security following graduation.

Citizens interested in the program must complete and return the application and complete a background check. The cost of the course is $25, which covers course materials.

For more information, contact Shinall, the program coordinator, at 770-382-5050, extension 6069, or email mikeshinall@bartow.org.