Fourteen members of the first Chisago County Citizens’ Academy graduated Nov. 6.
The eight-week free program began Sept. 18 and took place Wednesday evenings. The academy is an educational tool to show the public the role of modern law enforcement, according to Sheriff Rick Duncan, Chisago County Sheriff’s Office. Over the seven sessions – graduation ceremony at the Chisago County Government Center was the eighth – participants learned a variety of topics through lectures, demonstrations, tours, hands-on exercises, and each will have the opportunity to ride along with a uniform patrol officer.
The Chisago County Citizens’ Academy is open to Chisago County residents and business owners as well as others that work in the county, but not all applicants are accepted, as their admission is based on a background check of their driver’s license, contacts with law enforcement and criminal history.
“We had a great group,” Wyoming Chief of Police Paul Hoppe said. “They asked great questions and made up a good cross-section of the community.” The academy graduates got an inside look at how law enforcement works and what it does to keep the community safe,” noted North Branch Chief of Police Dan Meyer. “They saw that it was not like TV shows, like ‘CSI,” where cases are wrapped up in an hour,” added Lakes Area Police Department Chief of Police Kevin Stenson. One of the class sessions involved a Taser demonstration where several academy participants took the electrical charge, while another session demonstrated the DWI-arrest process.
At the graduation program, Duncan thanked the academy participants for their commitment to the community and their willingness to take the time to learn about the duties of law enforcement officers. “It shows that you care about the community,” Duncan said. At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates were presented with certificates and invited to stay after for a reception of cake and refreshments.
Anyone interested in applying for next year’s academy can contact the sheriff’s office at 651-213-6309.