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Sheriffs office enhances Citizens Law Enforcement Academy
Firearms, crime scene training added to curriculum
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With the addition of firearms training and the opportunity to solve a crime using crime scene investigation equipment and techniques, space is quickly filling for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office’s ninth annual Citizens Law Enforcement Academy.


“This year, we’re taking on a more hands-on approach,” said academy director Lt. Tony Wooten. “In our ninth year, we have several new additions to the program, additions our participants have asked us to offer.”


An opportunity to receive hands-on firearms training at a shooting range by a certified officer and investigating a simulated crime scene were requests made by former participants, several who plan to return for the new session.


“Through the success of CSI television shows, crime scene investigations are very popular. The crime scene scenario will give participants a chance to see what’s real and what’s not, and how we’re able to go through the crime scenes without the magical equipment used on TV,” Wooten said.


The eight-week course, which begins on Feb. 18, is intended to give a true insider’s look at various aspects of local law enforcement, including criminal investigations, K-9 units, emergency communications and the special response team, to name a few.


Participants will also have the opportunity to ride along with an officer on patrol, which is quite popular, Wooten said.


The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is free and open to any adult living in Dawson County, including individuals who participated in the academy in the past.


“We want the citizens to see what we’re doing,” Wooten said. “After the academy is over, most people come back and tell us they never knew we did so much.”


Classes will run through March and will be held primarily on Tuesday evenings beginning at 6 p.m. at the Dawson County Law Enforcement Center, with two Saturday morning classes held offsite to accommodate the firearms training and the mock crime scene investigation.


Space is limited to the first 30 applicants.


For more information on Dawson County’s Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, or to register, call Wooten at (706) 344-3535.


E-mail Michele Hester at