Citizen’s Academy Part II


Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons, author websiteBLOG POST #215: If you’re curious about how law enforcement functions, then you should sign up for a citizen’s academy. And if you’re an author who writes scenes containing any police procedures, you also should sign up for a citizen’s academy. Here’s why:

As I said in post 209, most law enforcement agencies have a Citizen’s Academy. Call your local police or sheriff department and ask them. I attended my local sheriff department’s Citizen Academy in 2013. It was a free sixteen-week course held one evening each week, plus one ride-along with a deputy.

Because law enforcement agencies are continuously improving their operation, the information I’m sharing was current as of 2013. It might be time for me to go again.

In the previous post, I itemized all the topics that were covered in the course. In this post, I’ll share more detail on what it takes to be successful through the hiring process.

In addition to the background check, candidates were also required to pass a written test and a physical agility test.

Candidates had to climb over a six-foot chain-link fence and scale a six-foot solid wall. They had to drag a dead-weight, sand-filled dummy in a 50-yard run, as well as other physically taxing tests.

There was an oral panel who questioned the candidates, and then the Sheriff conducted an oral interview with questions.

I’m sure you’ve heard of a lie-detector test, how about a voice stress analyzer (VSA)? This test measures the level of stress in a person’s voice. Candidates were tested with a VSA.

Of course, there was a physical exam, psychological exam, and the six-month academy course of more than 650 rigorous hours of instruction. After all of that, candidates were given a numerical ranking based on results.

A handful of successful candidates were then offered a position. At the time, on average, two out of 100 were hired.

Here’s a link to the Citizen’s Academy Part I (if you missed it or want to reread it): Citizen’s Academy Part I

The next segment in this series will be on the 911 call center.

What are your thoughts about the Citizen’s Academy? Are you considering taking a similar course in your community?

Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


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