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Sheriff’s Department Concludes 2nd Annual Citizens Academy

by Christopher Harris , Cuyahoga County Communications Specialist
citizenAcad6On Wednesday May 24th, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department congratulated its newest graduating class from the 2nd annual Sheriff’s Department Citizens Academy.

Now, you might be thinking, “What is a Citizens Academy?” 

The Citizens Academy is an educational program designed to improve the community’s understanding of law enforcement, specifically the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department. This is accomplished through a variety of hands-on demonstrations, lectures, and field trips. Residents are also exposed to other county departments that work closely with the Sheriff’s Department (Medical Examiner’s OfficeCommon Pleas CourtCounty Council, etc.) 

citizenAcad5After reviewing feedback from the inaugural academy in 2016, the program was extended from 8 to 10 weeks so that participants could hear from more speakers. 

A total of 24 citizens completed the program, up from last year’s 16. This year’s group included a mix of public/private/non-profit professionals and retirees. 

“I’d like to thank our academy graduates, staff, and presenters who have generously donated their time to make this program a success. We are very pleased with the feedback we’ve received and will continue enhance the program for years to come,” said Cuyahoga County Sheriff Pinkney.

At the end of each session, residents complete anonymous evaluations to let us know what they most liked, least liked, and score each of our demonstrations. This has been proven to be an invaluable asset to our program, because this helps us improve the academy going forward. We value the voices of our citizens. 

citizenAcad1When asked if the program had changed their understanding of the Sheriff’s Department since attending, one resident wrote “Changed – very positively as well! Knowing more of the internal workings of the organization has helped in understanding what the department has to deal with. Education is key.” 

Another resident explained “I have learned so much and am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I am a lifetime Cuyahoga County resident and have a new appreciation and respect for my county and its various facilities, personnel, and programs.” 

citizenAcad2The Citizens Academy is provided free of charge and open to all eligible residents of Cuyahoga County who are at least 21 years of age, and have no felony convictions. Classes are held once a week for 3 hours, and cover subjects such as human trafficking, jail operations, SWAT, and Crime Stoppers. 

For more information on future citizen’s dates, please visit:  

Still not sold about the impact of the academy? Don’t just take it from me, take it from our residents: 

citizenAcad3"Thank you for everything. Everyone we came in contact with was willing to give us a peek into their work worlds. They were welcoming and gracious. “ 

“I was very impressed by the dedication and quality of the staff.” 

“All sessions had value and meaning. They all gave me an understanding that I didn't have.” 

citizenAcad4“I want to thank the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department for their dedication, efforts and enthusiasm. Without such a program, my interaction with law enforcement is non-existent. It's nice to see the human side and relate to the individuals that protect me and are a part of my community - Cleveland.”