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Sheriff's Citizens Academy now taking applications

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The Collin County Sheriff's Office is opening its doors for the 22nd time as the annual citizen's academy kicks off Jan 26.

The 14-week course is designed to give residents an idea of the internal- operations of the department. The class is open to anyone 18 years and older who works or resides in Collin County.

Interested candidates are required to complete an application and background check to determine if they are eligible for the program.

Each week will feature a different aspect of the Collin County Sheriff's Office, including tours of the award-winning detention facility, demonstrations by the tactical team, dive team and K-9 unit, and presented by a wide range of speakers.

Topics include narcotics and crime scene investigation, traffic enforcement, homeland security and school resource programs.

"The academy is a great opportunity for the citizens to see how the Sheriff's Office functions," Crime Prevention Deputy Brent Collins said. "The students enjoy learning how the law enforcement side works, including everything from how we train officers to use their firearms to the inmate work program that grows its own food served in the jail."

The goal of the academy is to inform the citizens by increasing law enforcement awareness while dispelling misconceptions.

"A lot of people know we have an award-winning detention facility to house the inmates in Collin County," Collins said. "What they might not know is that we are different from a regular jail where offenders are locked in a cell. We utilize the direct supervision method of incarceration. Entities from around the state and country tour our jail to learn how it operates.

In addition to educating the citizens, the Collin County Sheriff's Office benefits from the academy, as well. Through the feedback and interaction with the students in the citizen's academy, CCSO becomes more aware of the concerns of the community. It is a two-way learning experience.

Classes are held every Tuesday from 7-10 p.m. at the Sheriff's Office, 4300 Community Ave., in McKinney. The cost is $48.

For more information about the Collin County Sheriff's Office Citizens Academy, contact Deputy Brent Collins at 972-547-5184, bcollins@collincountytx.gov, or Deputy Stefanie Foster, 972-547-5185, sfoster@collincountytx.gov.

Those interested can get a copy of the application here.