Sheriff launches citizens’ academy
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 — Staff at the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for a new program being launched in June.
The Citizens’ Academy will provide interested volunteers a more thorough knowledge of the operations of the department, as well as helping those interested in a law enforcement career.
The free informal 11-week academy will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday, starting June 17. A graduation will cap off the course Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Class size is limited to 25 people.
Participants will learn about topics including narcotics investigation, K9 operations, gangs, major crime investigation, criminal law, SWAT, patrol and evidence procedures, with classes taught by staff working in each specialty area.
“Basically, we’re going to teach them about all the operations of the sheriff’s office,” said Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon during a Tuesday, May 13 meeting of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors. “It’s going to take some commitment by them if they want to learn about it.”
Interested participants must be at least 14 years old, have no felony arrest history and have not been arrested for any charge within the past five years. All applicants will be screened prior to admission into the class.
Parental approval is required for participants in the 14 to 18 age group and first priority will go to those already in an Explorer program, according to Growdon.
Deputy Vincent Buck has had some experience with a similar program in Tulare County and helped put the local academy together.
Growdon said, “This is something we’ve been wanting to do, but we really didn’t have a good template so (Buck) helped us put together.”
The first priority of the citizens’ academy is getting people interested in being volunteers for the sheriff’s office at some of the substations in the outlying areas or even at main headquarters at Sheriff Cady Lane in Susanville, Growdon said.
“Just so they have a good strong overview of our department and the services we provide so they’re more informed when they’re answering questions of the public,” he said.
Currently, there is a substation in Big Valley and two more are in the process of being opened in Janesville and Doyle.
The substations’ hours of operation will depend on the number of volunteers who will help the public with different needs such as concealed weapon permit applications, according to Growdon.
Volunteers at headquarters can help with training programs, working in the front office or running paperwork around town.
The second goal of the academy is to provide more exposure of the sheriff’s office and will be a great opportunity for people in the 18 to 21 age group who are interested in a law enforcement career to see if it’s something they really want to pursue, according to Growdon.
For more information, call Citizens’ Academy coordinator, Buck at 257-6121.