San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

STAFF REPORT

The Hays County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy is now accepting applications for the Spring 2012 class.

The 13-week course, which consists of about 45 hours of instruction, is intended to give members of the public a working knowledge of the Sheriff’s Office and the county’s criminal justice system.

“It is further hoped that the academy will increase public awareness, dispel suspicions, misconceptions, and increase Sheriff’s Office and community rapport,” said Jeffrey Jordan, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. “At the same time, the Sheriff’s Office becomes aware of the feelings and concerns of the community from the participants’ interaction and input.”

Academy instructors include supervisors, deputies, and correction officers who work in the subject areas being taught. They are tasked with giving attendees of the course insight into the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office.

“In return, class instructors receive direct feedback from the class participants on the effects the Sheriff’s Office has on their lives,” Jordan said.

Classes are on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office academy will ocassionally hold joint classes with the San Marcos Police Department’s Citizens Academy. The county’s academy offers extracurricular activities including participation in a police driving exercise, observation of a demonstration by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, a shooting demonstration by firearms instructors, and participation in a live fire exercise. Students will also have the opportunity to ride along with a deputy as an observer during a regular shift.

To attend the academy, one must submit an application and consent to a background check. Those with felony convictions, or who are currently on probation, and anyone who has been convicted for any offense involving moral turpitude, are not eligible. Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age and either reside or work in Hays County. Applications can be picked up at the Hays County Sheriff’s Office or downloaded from the Sheriff’s Office website at: http://www.co.hays.tx.us/data/sheriff/0/CSA.pdf.

“Once you graduate, you are encouraged to become a member of the Hays County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy Alumni Association,” Jordan said. “Alumni members become our volunteer base and are often called upon to assist the Sheriff’s Office with special events and projects. Your successful completion can also lead to other opportunities of service through the Sheriff’s Office, including Community Emergency Response Team, Volunteers In Policing Service, Victims Assistance, and Junior Deputy Academy, just to name a few. Class size is limited to 24 people per class so it is important to get your application in early to avoid the waiting list.”

For more information regarding the Hays County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy, contact the Hays County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Division at (512) 393-7373 or jeff.jordan@co.hays.tx.us. Citizens Academy applications can be mailed, email, or faxed to:

Hays County Sheriff’s Office
c/o Community Outreach Division
Attention: Citizens Academy
1307 Uhland Road
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Phone: 512-393-7373
Fax: 512 393-7879
jeff.jordan@co.hays.tx.us

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