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Sheriff offers 10-week citizen police academy

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POSTED August 2, 2013 2:08 a.m.

FRENCH CAMP – Ever wanted to learn about law enforcement tactics and procedures?

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department is going to make that possible.

Starting Sept. 4, the department will begin its annual Citizen’s Police Academy at the Sheriff’s headquarters in French Camp – providing an up-close and hands-on look at what those behind the badge do on a daily basis.

For $40, participants will spend three hours every Wednesday, for 10-weeks, working with academy instructors on patrol procedures, narcotics, gangs, hostage negotiations and crime prevention.

Instructors – which will include both sworn deputies and civilian staff members – will talk about internal affairs, the community oriented policing model that the department strives to embrace and what goes in to being part of a specialized unit like SWAT.

“The opportunity for citizens to attend our sheriff’s academy allows them to learn about our inner workings and why we do what we do and how we do it,” said Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Les Garcia. “We’ve been fortunate enough to hold several of these classes over the years and have received positive feedback from the community and those that participated.

“We hope that we’re able to continue to build that relationship. We believe that programs like these continue these efforts – the participants become our ambassadors, and that’s important to have.”

The 10-week program will wrap up with a graduation ceremony on Nov. 6.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age with no misdemeanor convictions within one year of the date of applying (all past arrests will be considered during the screening process). Felony convictions will disqualify someone from eligibility – a brief background check will be done to determine who qualified because of admittance into sensitive areas and the disclosure of sensitive data.

Those wishing to sign up are urged to download and fill out an application immediately. They can be found under the “community policing” section. Future participants can also contact Garcia at (209) 468-4414.

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