What is a Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy?
Louisa County Sheriff’s Office
Citizens Law Enforcement Academy
All too often a person’s perception of law enforcement is that which is learned from crime-action television shows or movies. The role of Law Enforcement has always been an interest to the average citizen. The television media has capitalized upon this curiosity with shows such as “Cops”, “NCIS”, and “CSI”. Although these captivate the public’s imagination they are not always reality based. Those that depict “real life” situations only reflect a small portion of reality. Each week, real police action is broadcast into the living rooms of millions of Americans. Numerous law enforcement agencies have also benefited from the curiosity that citizens have about the police. These agencies have formed a Citizen Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) program that create an expansion of their community based efforts. These programs are intended to open the lines of communication between the community and their law enforcement agency.
The goal of the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy is not only to help residents better understand law enforcement work in their community, but to develop stronger ties between their community and law enforcement, in an effort to better address crime issues. Community Based Policing is an important and vital aspect of crime control in any community. It is through community cooperation and planning that we can best ensure quality law enforcement services in an organized effective crime prevention effort. The Citizen Law Enforcement Academy is yet another mechanism for the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office to inform the public of what they do, improve communication, and obtain citizen input, assistance, and support throughout the county.
In view of this, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office wants to educate the Louisa Citizens on the agency’s internal structure and the integral part that the agency plays in our local community. The Citizen Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) is a program designed to build positive community relationships between the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Louisa County. Our purpose is to educate the community on the operations of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and dispelling any misconceptions about law enforcement in Louisa County.
By attending the “Citizen Law Enforcement Academy” you will learn how to better protect yourself from being a crime victim, how to report crime, and the ramifications of committing a crime. You will receive knowledge on officer training & equipment, what constitutes a crime, and how to differentiate between “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause.”
You will watch police K-9s in action, learn about the Special Response Team (S.R.T.), see how a crime scene is handled and incriminating evidence is collected. You will learn the “Shoot/Don’t Shoot” methodology, the use of firearms & other equipment, participate in officer firearms training at the firearms range, and drive a police car through a training course. Be a detective, do evidence collection and learn about forensics.
Generally, the relationship between the police and the citizen is one of “love/hate”. To the citizen, it may frequently appear that the police are not doing their job or are exceeding their boundaries. By allowing citizens a firsthand look at what rules, regulations and policies the police follow, some of the misunderstanding may be alleviated. It will be nice to have citizens that have a better understanding of what it means to enforce the law, and can advocate for the benefit of law enforcement in Louisa County.
The 12-week (3-hour evening sessions 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays of each week) program is provided at no charge and is open to Louisa County residents over the age of 18 of good standing, Louisa County business owners, and people employed within Louisa County.
Applications for the March 2018 Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy are now open.