Do you know what it takes to be a law enforcement officer in Dawson County?
Often we don’t interact with law enforcement officers unless there is a problem, a tragedy or high stress incident which can color our perception of what authorities do.
This year the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office will once again host an event aimed at righting that perception — the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, a six-week course on training, stress and day to day responsibilities that local deputies shoulder.
"Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, most people have little interaction with their law enforcement officers. This minimal interaction naturally impacts our efforts to build deeper relationships,” Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said in a statement to the DCN. “This offering presents a great way to learn what we do, why we do it and most importantly - who we are.”
According to Johnson, the Dawson County Citizens Law Enforcement Academy will roundly cover the law enforcement profession, from the 911 call center to the local court system, providing insights and real-life experiences that participants can take into the community.
"One of the most effective methods to combat crime is achieved through a collective, concerted partnership with those we serve. To help accomplish this, we know that we must always strive to build greater relationships with our community," he said.
This course will rely heavily on hands on experiences, Johnson said, and participants see what it’s like to handle a 911 call, search a cell for contraband, investigate a crime scene, perform courthouse security, participate on a patrol ride-along and use the sheriff’s office’s Judgmental Use of Force Simulator.
"Our academy presents a great opportunity for our community to become familiar with the duties and responsibilities required of this office," Johnson said. “Our goal is to leave the students with a deeper, overall understanding of law enforcement operations occurring within Dawson County.”
Classes begin on Feb. 11, 2020 and will span six Tuesday evenings in February and March, from 6 to 9 p.m. A light dinner is provided each night.
Johnson said that registration for CLEA is ongoing and interested participants can register for the course by emailing Ann Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (706) 344-3535.
A background check will be required for participants of the program, Johnson said.