The Dawson County Sheriff's Office is accepting applications for its annual Citizens Law Enforcement Academy.
Designed to give residents an inside look at how local law enforcement operates, the free, four-week course begins March 7 with an introduction by Sheriff Billy Carlisle and his administrative staff.
Carlisle said he noticed the need for a course to showcase the inner-workings of the sheriff's office before he was first elected.
"Generally, the only contact the public has with the sheriff's office is when they have to report a crime or they get pulled over on a traffic stop," he said. "Yes, you see the patrol car riding around the county, but what else do we do? We want to bring the community in to see every aspect of the sheriff's office."
In addition to classroom presentations, the course covers demonstrations by the sheriff's K-9 team, uniform patrol division and hands-on weapons simulator activities.
Participants will have the opportunity to tour the jail and ride along with trained patrol officers on their daily duties. An optional class that will focus on firearm training will also be available.
Carlisle anticipates the firearm training to be popular this year with the recent national events that have raised the issues of gun control and personal safety.
Now in its 13th year, Carlisle said he started the program to give the community a better understanding of the job of a law enforcement officer.
For more information or to register for the course, call Maj. Wooten at (706) 344-3535.