Community involvement is the most powerful force a law enforcement agency has in the fight against crime. Through the Citizen's Academy, citizens can become more involved in making Martin County a better place to live. The Citizen's Police Academy concept started in England. It was first adopted in the United States by the Orlando, Florida Police department in 1985. The Martin County Sheriff's Office version is simply called the Citizen's Academy. It is modeled after the Orlando academy and designed to promote better understanding between the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Martin County. The Martin County Sheriff's Office Citizen's Academy offers a different and exciting program unique to our area. Indeed, the curriculum is not what you might expect. Classes cover all areas of law enforcement.
Typically the students attracted to the Academy are a culturally diverse group of people including bankers, businessmen and women, judges, homemakers, school teachers, media representatives, retires and citizens from all walks of life. The Citizen's Academy is offered at no cost to the participants. The instructors are Deputy Sheriffs and Corrections Deputies who volunteer their time and experience.
Citizens will learn about virtually every aspect of the deputies' job from recruiting, administration, patrol operations, E911 communications, traffic enforcement, criminal law, juvenile offenders, detectives, bomb disposal, SWAT, crime scene investigations and the corrections facility and many other areas. Students are not limited to the classroom, instead they are given the opportunity to ride along with a live Deputy on shift, tour the jail, and work a crime scene.
Although graduates of the Citizen's Academy are not qualified for sworn daily street duty, they do acquire a much better understanding of the Martin County Sheriff's Office operations and constititional responsibilities. Citizen Academy graduates gain greater awareness and appreciation of the difficult challenges and decisions a Deputy Sheriff faces every day.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office Offers Two Different Citizen Academies:
1. Ten Week Academy—This is held once a week for eight weeks.
Attendees will have a “hands on” approach to Law Enforcement.
2. One Day Academy—While receiving the same topics as the ten week academy, attendees will get a more condensed version of each of the topics.
If you would like more information or would like to sign up for the next class, contact the Community Programs Unit:
Laura Passanesi, Community Programs Coordinator