Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office
After eight weeks of interactive classes, 32 Santa Barbara County residents graduated today, May 20, 2017, from the Citizen’s Academy. The participants ranged from 18 to 67 years of age with different backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives. The group included students, business owners, teachers, community activists and retirees, just to name a few. The Sheriff’s Office collaborated with UCSB, the UCSB Police Department and the City of Goleta to put on the free program.
The Citizen’s Academy is designed to give the public an inside look at just some of what law enforcement does on a daily basis to keep its citizens safe. During the course of the program, the participants toured the jail, fired a handgun, took interactive classes in active shooter training, use of force, search and seizure law, building searches and arrest and control, just to name a few.
Today the participants finished their last two classes at the Sheriff’s Training Bureau. Then, they received their certificates of completion at a graduation ceremony and celebratory BBQ attended by family and friends of the graduates, their instructors and past Citizen Academy graduates. At the ceremony, the crowd applauded each graduate as Sheriff Bill Brown and UCSB Police Department Assistant Chief Cathy Farley presented them with their certificate of completion.
Upon completion of the Citizen’s Academy, the graduates agreed it was an eye-opening experience and are glad they signed up. Santa Barbara City College student Lia Welkom said, “The Citizens Academy took me behind the scenes and gave me a police-eye look at what officers encounter, how they approach their job, and one-on-one teaching from real pros. It was an experience I would do again and recommend to all.”
UCSB Senior Compliance Training Analyst Carol Sauceda said, “What an insightful program. I appreciated being with like-minded individuals who care eno ugh to invest their time to learn more about what our public safety officers do. I have gained a better understanding of what it’s like behind the badge through the lectures, hands-on experience and tour of the jail. I have a higher level respect for the men and women who are in law enforcement. This is a valuable program for all citizens and I highly recommend it.”