Guest Column: Civilian Law Enforcement Academy


Guest Column: Civilian Law Enforcement Academy

David B. Shoar, Sheriff
St. Johns County, FL

This month, I would like to tell you about our Civilian Law Enforcement Academy at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. This academy began nearly nine years ago and has been well received. To date over 300 of our citizens have taken the class, and the most recent academy, the 21st, began March25th. The academy meets once a week for eleven weeks and for three hours a night.

Participants in the Civilian Law Enforcement Academy will gain an insider perspective on law enforcement and how the criminal justice system works. It is designed to provide the public with a working knowledge of their Sheriffs Office’s mission, operation, policies and personnel, and we hope it will nurture mutual trust and cooperation between the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of St. Johns County.

The curriculum, modified from the one currently offered to achieve law enforcement officer certification, is presented by qualified instructors and includes such topics as Communications, Jail Procedure and tour, Narcotics Operations and Criminal Investigation, Patrol and K-9 Operations, Crime Prevention Training, Response to Resistance, and Defensive Tactics. Citizens will also participate in driving maneuvers at the driving track and firearms operation at the shooting range.

Citizen Police Academies represent a vital part of community-oriented policing and helps get the public involved by making them a part of the law enforcement family. The academy provides a productive outlet for the mutual sharing of information and concerns in order to further the common goals of our community and the Sheriff’s Office.

Upon successful completion of the academy, each graduate will attend a graduation ceremony and receive a certificate of training.

This program has been very successful locally with many participants from all walks of life and from all areas of the county. Because we are limited on class space for the academy, I urge anyone interested in attending the Civilian Law Enforcement Academy to please contact Sergeant Bonnie McCullough by calling 904-209-2200. The next class to sign up is scheduled to begin in the fall of this year.

I look forward to your participation or input, and please feel free to contact me by e-mail at anytime. Also, be sure to keep up with the latest from your Sheriff’s Office with Facebook or Twitter or from our website at

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