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2019 Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy coming in the spring
citizens law enforcement academy
Participants in the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy meet with members of the Dawson County Sheriff's Office during one of the academy's classes. - photo by For the Dawson County News

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office will be offering its 2019 Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy this spring.

The six-week program will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on consecutive Tuesday evenings with a light dinner provided each night. The academy begins April 9 and concludes May 14.

“The Citizen’s Academy is a great way to learn more about law operations in Dawson County,” said Sheriff Jeff Johnson. “Most people equate the sheriff’s office with the highly visible patrol component that responds to calls for service, investigate accidents and enforces traffic laws. However, this is only a portion of the many duties and responsibilities required of this office. Participants leave with a much deeper understanding of all the facets performed by this office.”

The course introduces participants to the numerous responsibilities required of the sheriff’s office, with attendees participating in hands-on exercises designed to increase their knowledge of law enforcement operations.

“We have redesigned our approach to include more interactive participation. We believe it leads to a much deeper understanding and appreciation for what our law enforcement officers face each and every day,” Johnson said. “As always, participation is voluntary. Some simply choose to observe.”

Attendees will be placed in certain roles that are regularly encountered by law enforcement professionals such as learning to handle a 911 call, searching a jail cell for contraband, investigating a crime scene, performing courthouse security and participating on a patrol ride along.

“One of the most important aspects of this program is the building of relationships. Not only does our community learn what we do and why we do it, they learn who we are,” Johnson said. “Establishing and maintaining these types of relationships are critical in the service of our people.” 

New for the 2019 academy is the Judgmental Use of Force Simulator, a state-of-the-art simulation designed to train officers in real time. Attendees will be able to test their decision making skills in the simulator.

The academy is free of charge and is open to Dawson County residents only.

“We have enjoyed increased participation in our academy offerings. With this in mind, we encourage our community to enroll early,” Johnson said. “We look forward to having you join us.”

For details on eligibility requirements and registration, contact Anne Martin at or telephone (706)344-3535 ext. 20451.