Class 14 of the Brunswick Sheriff’s Citizens Academy convened for the first time on Tuesday, August 6. Our class was comprised of a diverse group of people, most of whom I had never met prior to our first session. By the end of the academy, we had bonded to the point that I would not be surprised if we hold a class reunion at some point in the future.
At the reception following our class graduation on Tuesday, October 8, one of the ladies in our class asked me why I decided to participate in the Citizens Academy. That is a fair question, and I will share my answer here. As a conservative, I believe government should focus on fulfilling its legitimate purposes rather than trying to be all things to all people. In my view, one of the highest and most important roles of government is keeping our streets and homes safe while protecting our right to enjoy our freedom. At the county level, the Sheriff’s Office is one of the primary vehicles for keeping our communities safe. As a commissioner, I wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of our Sheriff’s Office, as well as the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. I believed the Citizens Academy would provide an excellent means of doing so, and it exceeded my expectations.
Topics we covered included:
- Week One (Tuesday, August 6): Overview of the Sheriff’s Office, the Chaplain Corps and Volunteer Program.
- Week Two (Tuesday, August 13): Uniform Services division, which includes the Patrol Division, the Warrant Division and the Bailiff/Court Services Division; watched dash-cam video of chase that took place in Brunswick County; role-playing exercise (mock traffic stop).
- Week Three (Tuesday, August 20): 911 Center; Fingerprinting; Sexual Assault Cases (including evidence collection procedures)
- Week Four (Tuesday, August 27): Animal Protective Services, Crime Prevention Unit
- Week Five (Tuesday, September 3): Detention Center, Court System, Internal Affairs
- Week Six (Tuesday, September 10): Vice Narcotics
- Week Seven (Tuesday, September 17): Taser demonstration; gangs; defensive tactics
- Week Eight (Tuesday, September 24 & Saturday, September 28): Firearms; shoot/don’t shoot scenarios; role-playing. On Saturday we went to the firing range and also observed a SWAT demonstration
- Week Nine (Tuesday, October 1 & Saturday, October 5): Special Operations; DWI Enforcement; K9 demonstration; Marine Patrol.
Our class graduated on Tuesday, October 8th. One of our class members took the lead in taking up a collection to benefit Project Lifesaver. We raised just shy of $500 for this worthy project in only three days. We surprised Sergeant Bert Reaves and Deputy T.K. Nowell, who oversee the Citizens Academy, with a check presentation.
Sergeant Reaves and Deputy Nowell did an EXCELLENT job leading the Citizens Academy. I enjoyed getting to know both of them, as well as the many other instructors who helped with the Academy.
If you would like to learn more about our Sheriff’s Office, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the Citizens Academy. Click here for more information.
More pictures from Class 14 are posted on my Facebook page (click here).