MIAMI COUNTY — This spring, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office will be offering a “Citizens Academy” for residents who are interested in learning more about the functions of the sheriff’s office in the community.
Applications are being accepted for a spring session of the MCSO Citizens Police Academy (CPA). The academy will be held every Wednesday from March 8 through May 24. The 12 sessions of classes will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Training Center, 2050 N. County Road 25A in Troy.
“(It’s) just general knowledge of what we do and bring a positive impact or positive outlook towards law enforcement. We want to be open with our community and make it a positive experience for them,” Lt. Whaley said.
Lt. Mike Whaley shared how officers were interested in bringing the program back to the residents of Miami County.
“We had talked about bringing the program back with all the negative law enforcement has been getting, so we want to show the public all aspects of what we do and be more open to the public,” Lt. Whaley said.
Lt. Whaley offered to start up the academy to see if there was an interest in the community last fall. Lt. Whaley and officials from the sheriff’s office hosted a fall session with 14 community members who attended the classes. Participants ranged from law enforcement relatives, retirees and “just people who want to know about their community.”
“They want to know how the sheriff’s office operates, what we do, and what law enforcement does in general,” Lt. Whaley shared.
Classes will be instructed by deputies with expertise in the related subject areas including: Sheriff’s Office duties per Ohio Revised Code, Jail Operations, Courtroom Security, LE Technology Equipment, Dispatch 911 Center, Criminal Investigations, Crash Investigations, Patrol Operations, Bicycle Patrol, Park District, Evidence Processing, Project LifeSaver, Sex Offender Registration, First Aid, Crisis Intervention, School Resource Officer Operations, K9 Operations, Use of Force, Weapon Familiarization, SRT/HNT Operations.
For example, Lt. Whaley led the session on the “Use of Force” for the academy. Lt. Whaley shared how the particular session included information such as case law to help explain why officers use different levels of force in various situations.
Lt. Whaley also included a hands-on scenario on how officers conduct traffic stops and how to determine if the driver has access to a weapon, a cell phone, or a pellet gun.
“We let them conduct a traffic stop and let them make a decision an officer would have to make,” he said. “(The fall academy participants) did it at night with low visibility so they could understand some of the things we encounter. They loved that aspect of it and it gave them a real eye-opening experience.”
Other hands-on experiences include evidence collection, a Taser demonstration, equipment and visual aides and other demonstrations.
Lt. Whaley emphasized the CPA is not intended to train residents to take police action or perform law enforcement duties, but to gain a more in-depth understand of local law enforcement.
Lt. Whaley said the fall academy participants provided feedback suggesting the CPA have longer, more in-depth sessions which expanded the hours of the CPA to three hours per session.
The CPA is open to all persons 21 years of age who live in, or work in Miami County. Residents must apply and successfully pass a background check. A rolling enrollment is offered by completing an application form that is available at the Miami County Sheriff’s Office or it can be downloaded from the website. Applicants cannot have a felony record or have been convicted in a crime of violence.
Applications can be obtained on the Miami County Sheriff’s Office website at www.miamicountysheriff.org. Questions can be directed to Lt. Mike Whaley who can be reached at 937-440-6085 ext. 7106 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Deputy Warren Edmondson at 440-6085 or email (email@example.com)
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