Sheriff's Dept. Citizens Police Academy

Riding with a patrol officer and shooting at the range are two activities planned for the Fall class of the free Sheriff’s Citizen Academy at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

            Applications are being taken now for the 15-week class that begins from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at the sheriff’s office at 940 New Salem Highway . The class will be every consecutive Thursday until Dec. 20 with the exception of Thanksgiving.

To be eligible, citizens must be at least 18 years old and live or work in Rutherford County . Applications may be obtained at the sheriff’s office Information Center , Visitation lobby, the Community Service Unit office or the sheriff’s Web site athttp://www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/so/ under the Community Service Unit.

            Sheriff Robert Arnold will welcome the class. The class gives citizens an in-depth look at the way the sheriff’s office operates and an inside look about the different divisions.

            Sgt. Jimmy Cassidy said citizens will learn about the vast number of responsibilities of a sheriff’s office including serving warrants and maintaining the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center .

Deputy Greg Dotson , who organizes the class, said citizens will take field trips to Juvenile Detention, the Emergency Medical Services’ Special Operations Response Team, the Judicial Building and the horse barn where the Mounted Patrol horses are sheltered.

            Deputy Chief Virgil Gammon will discuss the history of the sheriff’s office. Citizens will listen to various speakers ranging from narcotics, gangs, Interstate Crime Enforcement, hostage negotiations and the Cold Case unit. Citizens will tour the jail and new kitchen. During the gun range class, students will respond to different scenarios.

            “It is my hope at the end of 15 weeks there will be a better appreciation of the sheriff’s office,” Dotson said.

            The class is required for citizens who want to be reserve officers for the sheriff’s office.

            Reserve Officer Tim Oliver, who completed the Fall 2011 class, said the course gave people a real world view into the sheriff’s office.

            “I learned more than I expected to from all of the different aspects of the operations of our county and what goes into making it a safer place,” Oliver said. “I have suggested all of my family and friends that live in the county and have not attended to sign up for the next class. I personally believe every resident should attend and gain a small portion of what our Sheriff’s Office deals with on a day to day basis.”

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