The two-hour classes provide an opportunity to learn about the departments and the duties in law enforcement.
“We have received very positive feedback following the first citizen’s academy,” said Sgt. Pat Cook, training sergeant for the sheriff’s office.
The success of the first class has led to an earlier start for the second class, which was originally slotted for fall.
“We want to give people an opportunity to interact with us one-on-one and realize we are just regular folks and that we are their neighbors,” Cook said.
The 10-week course will feature each department conducting a presentation of their role in criminal justice.
“The course is to educate the civilian populous of the county to fully know what their sheriff’s department does,” Cook said. “Nobody ever calls 911 because they just made homemade ice cream and they want to share it with the police. When people call for the sheriff’s department it is because they are in some level of trauma or crisis and bad things are happening.”
The classes are not intended to prepare participants for a law enforcement career.
The deadline to apply is July 23 and forms are available at walkerso.com under the prevention tab.
The classes will remain similar with only a few minor additions to provide even more information.
Several applicants have already signed up for the class, which is limited to 20 participants.
To attend the academy each person must be 18 years of age, a Walker County resident, with no prior “felony or misdemeanor convictions that imply moral corruption,” and have no issues with handling graphic material.
Those applicants that pass the requirements will be notified the week prior to the start of the class.
The 18 citizens in the first academy class will be able to attend two additional classes that were recently created to cover the county’s judiciary process. On June 25 and July 9, the entire class will return to hear about the role of judges, clerk of courts, the district attorney and the public defender’s office.
The classes were kept separate out of concern that a longer continued time commitment may make it difficult on the citizens attending.
Cook also hopes that a county-owned firing range can be created, which would allow deputies to re-certify annually and could be used for firearm safety classes for the public.