Experience ‘life behind the badge’

policebadgeWANTED: Local law enforcement looking for public interest in citizens’ academy, slated to start next month—

The Chisago County Sheriff’s Department along with the Lakes Area, North Branch and Wyoming police departments have teamed up to provide county residents with an opportunity to experience “life behind the badge.”

That opportunity is the 2013 Citizens’ Academy, an eight-week program slated to start Sept. 18. The mission of the program is to strengthen the partnership between law enforcement and the community by providing citizens insight into modern-day policing through both classroom instruction and hands-on training conducted by law enforcement personnel.

Participants in the citizens’ academy program will learn firsthand a myriad of duties officers perform in the field as well as how law enforcement service is instrumental in the community. There will be a wide variety of training topics and hands-on activities that participants will learn about. Activities will include, but not limited to, general law enforcement duties, review of a call for service, use of force, arrests, search and seizure, firearms, narcotic identification, S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Training) operations, criminal investigation, emergency communications, traffic stops, DWI demonstration, community policing/crime prevention and more.

Participants also will tour the new Chisago County Emergency Communications Center and receive information about volunteer public safety programs in place. Upon successful completion of the academy program, participants will be afforded the opportunity to ride along with a patrol officer for four hours.

The 2013 Citizens’ Academy is open to anyone who lives or works in Chisago County, and it’s free of charge. Meeting times are from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 18 through Nov. 6. Program participants will meet at one of the four participating law enforcement agencies each week.

To participate, you must be at least age 21, have a valid driver’s license and no felony convictions on your record. Applicants will be asked to complete a Citizens’ Academy Application and sign a waiver and release of liability form. All participants will be subject to a criminal background check.

Applications are available at each participating agency and/or respective website and will be accepted through Aug. 31. However, space is limited to 16 participants.

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