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Thread: Joined the Citizen's Academy!

  1. #1
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Joined the Citizen's Academy!

    Howdy Folks!
    I would appreciate if folks who read this thread will keep remarks respectful and dignified.

    My wife decided to enroll in the Citizen's Academy established by our county sheriff. Rather belatedly, I decided I wanted to go, and my pardner made his decision at the last minute but got enrolled as well. So Tuesday evening, we all went to attend our first session of this eleven week course.

    Before I go on, this is what the sheriff's office says about the Citizen's Academy:
    "the Citizens Academy, will provide a "hands on" experience, including driving. Specialized units, such as the Bomb Squad, SWAT, K-9 Unit, Firearms Training, Crime Lab, Posse, Search and Rescue, and Dispatch, will demonstrate many of the functions and aspects of the Sheriff's operations."

    I know many folks who view law enforcement with a jaundiced eye, and I also know of police officers who do not trust citizens.
    The Citizen's Academy gives a real opportunity for citizens to see the world through the perspective of the officer, and the officer gets an opportunity to meet with citizens in a positive and productive manner. In essence, we can learn a great deal from one another through this course.

    I am personally looking forward to learning about the posse, and how that works and how they keep records of their experiences. It may be that they have records of posse activity dating back more than 100 years, and if so, could be a positive boon to me as a metal detectorist. Knowing where outlaw activity took place could lead to a stash of buried loot! Yeah!!!

    Search and Rescue should be interesting, as well as driving. What I understand is that we get the opportunity to drive a squad car. How cool is that? We also will see the crime lab, and that's gotta be outstanding! Don't know if we'll get to shoot at Firearms Training, but I'd be really excited about that in particular. I'm also looking forward to seeing SWAT up close, and see the type of gear they carry.

    In the session on Tuesday, two county prosecutors gave a presentation on their work and how things progress through the system to become a case in court. They covered RAS, Probable Cause, Preponderance of Evidence (in civil cases), and the concept of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt. Those of us in attendance had a unique look at the process and took questions from the group.

    Then we were given a presentation on the Emergency Operations Center from the Deputy who runs the organization. I wonder how many citizens of our county even know this exists, or that they have a whole bunch of people that can be brought together to manage an emergency very quickly. Often this group can be operational within an hour! The group consists of law enforcement, communications specialists, public service authorities, policy authorities, I.T. specialists, Search and Rescue, and a whole bunch more. Whether it is a natural disaster or terrorists attack, this group of individuals and specific groups is ready to mobilize to meet the challenge very quickly. I was amazed that this group exists, and are so well organized to respond to an emergency situation.

    The Citizen's Academy is an opportunity for citizens to learn about things from the other side of the badge. It is a chance to learn about our sheriff's department and the work they do. I'd highly recommend everybody to get involved in a Citizen's Academy if your local sheriff has one. If not, perhaps ask that they start one up! There are services that exist within the sheriff's office that are focused on protecting the citizen, help them when crime happens (victim's advocates) and provide social opportunities for folks to interact with deputies.

    My pardner and I both open carried our handguns and locked them up in the car once we got there. During the presentation by the county attorneys, I had an opportunity to talk about open carry in Colorado and how some officers have infringed that right. Not in our county, but in several nearby jurisdictions. That was while they were trying to explain Reasonable Articulateable Suspicion (RAS).

    Again, I ask that folks keep this thread respectful and dignified. Whatever your sentiments about law enforcement, I believe this type of Citizen's Academy can benefit every citizen. As you know, I advocate a working partnership between law enforcement and citizens to help make our communities safer and less inviting for criminals. As I told the County Prosecutor, I open carry but would much rather have cops on the scene than need to draw my own weapon to defend my life!

    From what I've seen of Citizens Academy so far, it will be a really fast 11 weeks! And I expect to learn a great deal along the way.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Last edited by M-Taliesin; 08-11-2011 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good idea--and fun. I wonder if El Paso County has something like it. You look like a used car salesman in your avatar, btw...
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Question

    Did you have to pay to enroll in the "Academy" or is this something that the citizenry at large is forced to fund? I also wonder if this is an "overtime mine" for the officers involved...

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    M-T...

    The academys can be a good experience. I did the full one day one sponsored by the Douglas County sheriff last year. Good cross-section of department functions & activities. We didn't do any live shooting, but were able to use the VR simulator to do some of the shoot / no shoot encounters that the LEOs have to do.

    Given the funding shortages, they are getting less frequent so take advantage whenever you can. Also, from what I have heard is they evolve and change over time so I would porbably do it again in the future.

    Overall, I would recommend them to everyone to get a better understanding of their job and to also get a better relationship with your local sheriff and his leadership team.


    JSK...
    Last edited by jskp229; 08-11-2011 at 08:20 PM. Reason: typos...

  5. #5
    Regular Member PikesPeakMtnMan's Avatar
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    That does sound like fun...I've thought about doing something like that but never really followed up.

    Gunslinger, if you find out about one in EPC I'd certainly be interested in knowing about it.
    One day your life is going to flash before your eyes, make it worth watching.

  6. #6
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    The Citizens Academy is fun. I really enjoyed the one held by my county.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  7. #7
    Regular Member sFe's Avatar
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    I thought about joining our citizens patrol for the city police but they don't allow you to carry when doing the observe and report thing.
    For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan

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  8. #8
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Did you have to pay to enroll in the "Academy" or is this something that the citizenry at large is forced to fund? I also wonder if this is an "overtime mine" for the officers involved...
    Howdy Pard!
    Nope, I did not have to pay to enroll in the citizen's academy.
    While I am not certain beyond reasonable doubt, I believe the citizens academy is presented courtesy of grant money donated by a philanthropic organization.
    Finally, since senior level deputies, commanders and staff officers run the academy presentations: People who receive a salary regardless of how many hours they put in, there is no "overtime mine" to be plundered. Officers who we may interact with are doing so as part of their regular duty if they are not senior staff officers, so they're on regular pay. Some of that time they are required to work also requires them to engage in training exercises. That citizens may be included in such exercises does not diminish from the fact that deputies would still be doing ongoing training exercises.

    In closing, this thread isn't about political ideology. It is about something available to citizens of my jurisdiction that can provide a significant insight into the operation of the sheriff's office. Since we already pay for their services through our tax dollars, it is entirely appropriate for them to include citizens who pay for such services to be involved with their sheriff's office. Furthermore, it is a whole bunch cheaper than season tickets to my favorite NFL team!

    Thank you for your quesitons.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    In the session on Tuesday, two county prosecutors gave a presentation on their work and how things progress through the system to become a case in court. They covered RAS, Probable Cause, Preponderance of Evidence (in civil cases), and the concept of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt. Those of us in attendance had a unique look at the process and took questions from the group.

    My pardner and I both open carried our handguns and locked them up in the car once we got there. During the presentation by the county attorneys, I had an opportunity to talk about open carry in Colorado and how some officers have infringed that right. Not in our county, but in several nearby jurisdictions. That was while they were trying to explain Reasonable Articulateable Suspicion (RAS).
    What types of responses / other questions were asked/given based on your comments listed above?
    Thanks,
    Geoff

  10. #10
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv_jeeps View Post
    What types of responses / other questions were asked/given based on your comments listed above?
    Thanks,
    Geoff
    Howdy Pardner!
    When they were explaining RAS, I mentioned that Loveland officers detained an open carrier who was simply sitting on a park bench, watching the sun go down while enjoying an apple. I also mentioned that without RAS, they infringed on his rights and that resulted in the city paying $1,500 in settlement and affirming they will train officers regarding open carry.

    For others in the room, this is the first they've heard of open carry, and that it is legal. It is also the first time they've encountered someone who affirms his right to open carry. While I was sitting there with an empty holster on my hip, the man sitting next to me kept glancing at my holster. The couple of officers who were in the room were aware of that holster, but said nothing much about open carry.

    I did sneak in that the Sheriff's webpage, in the FAQ section of the conceal carry permit information, states clearly that open carry is legal in most public places in Colorado.

    There were not many references to open carry, nor questions about it, during this class. The subject of open carry was essentially off topic to what was being discussed, but I did inject a bit of information about it during the discussion of RAS. The attorneys for the county did say that RAS is absolutely necessary for an officer to instigate an investigation. My own interaction illustrated that RAS is sometimes lacking and citizens detained for questioning, without Mirandizing either.

    But that was only the first class of the series. I'm certain there will be more opportunities to explore the subject of RAS and to assert my right to open carry as I go about my routine business. In so doing, officers will know that at least one citizen is aware of his rights and other citizens will learn they have this right. I do not wish to alter the purpose of Citizen's Academy, but I do intend to be who I am and the rights I live by! Those aims should be completely harmonious.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  11. #11
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PikesPeakMtnMan View Post
    That does sound like fun...I've thought about doing something like that but never really followed up.

    Gunslinger, if you find out about one in EPC I'd certainly be interested in knowing about it.
    Will let you know if I find anything out.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Sounds like a good idea--and fun. I wonder if El Paso County has something like it.
    They do, Gunslinger. I signed up for it in the Fall of 2009, but was waylaid by the avian flu (or some two-week copycat. My aunt attended a few decades ago, and that experience caused her to change her occupation. She first volunteered at the FD, then became a full-time employee.

    Try this link: Media Release - El Paso County Citizens Academy
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  13. #13
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Howdy Folks!
    One of the requirements for our citizen's academy is the "ride along". I'll be out Saturday night with a deputy for my ride along from 5pm to 3am. I am intrigued at what I might expect and what I might learn. I am rather more excited about this than I anticipated. Hope it turns out to be as illuminating as I anticipate. Will know before much longer, I guess.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  14. #14
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Did you have to pay to enroll in the "Academy" or is this something that the citizenry at large is forced to fund? I also wonder if this is an "overtime mine" for the officers involved...
    Howdy MIB!
    Got an answer for ya!
    The Citizen's Academy is paid for almost entirely by voluntary contributions from the Citizen's Academy Alumni Association. They do events to raise money for Citizen's Academy. They sell items to support the Academy. The Academy doesn't rely or receive money from the budget of the Sheriff's office. The citizenry at large isn't forced to fund one thin dime of the Academy budget. And when I join the Alumni Association, I'll volunteer at community events to promote and support the Academy. I'll make contributions to the Academy, both in terms of time and money. Officers donate their time to instruct classes at the Academy. Those we've heard from thus far, several weeks in, are all salaried and they don't get one single minute of overtime. Volunteers, who put on demonstrations of Search and Rescue or our Explorers posts, do so on their own volition. We had a demonstration from our S&R Explorers yesterday of tracking using bloodhounds. Those kids buy their own dogs, train them on their own dime, and show up when called upon to help find lost people or track down others that need found.

    Not everybody in the world is motivated by a mercenary agenda.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Last edited by M-Taliesin; 09-04-2011 at 11:56 AM.

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    Yah, my wife's dad is doing a similar class, except its threw the FBI. During the firearm portion, they let him shoot their mp5(trainer modes which were single fire, not fully auto). and after that he was able to go to some extention of it, and go to Quantico, Virginia, and see their training center.

  16. #16
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goalseter88 View Post
    Yah, my wife's dad is doing a similar class, except its threw the FBI. During the firearm portion, they let him shoot their mp5(trainer modes which were single fire, not fully auto). and after that he was able to go to some extention of it, and go to Quantico, Virginia, and see their training center.
    Howdy Amigo!
    Wow, that's an awesome thing to experience. Getting the inside look at the FBI and their training facility in Quantico. I'll bet he came away with an entirely new insight of the bureau as a result of those classes. That sounds like an incredible thing to me.

    I've been learning a great deal about the Sheriff's office here, which is a level 1 Sheriff's office, which means it is geared to handle darn near anything. The FBI has gotta be a huge leap beyond what we are getting. That being said, I am discovering a whole new perspective on our sheriff's office. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've always had a high degree of respect for our sheriff's office and their people. But seeing things from an inside perspective is a whole new insight.

    Thank you for your contribution to our thread!
    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Yah, I know he said he learned a lot and thought it was a neat experience. He the same way, he always had a high standard for cops. He leads the security where he works, and he actually has a couple retired FBI agents working on his security. But he just says its just amazing to see how they do things, and how detailed they are.

    Mabye once i move to colorado next year, I might look into that citezin academy.

    Thanks for the nice welcome. I haven't looked into this colorado forums much since i still probably got a half year before I move. Just thought I see how the OC movement is in Colorado. I still got to look into seeing how OC is dealt with in Colorado. Here in missiouri it based off each state, which kinda stinks if your going threw several cities.

    I also like your guys attitude a lot more then in Missouri towards cops. I tell you, you just mention the word "cops" in a sentence and by the end of the thread, it will end being just a thread of bashing cops. Even if your not a cop fan, just let it go. Do you have to go off on them each time they are brought up.

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    Wheat Ridge C.A.

    I did the Wheat Ridge C.A. class, if was a good time, it gave me a whole new repect for the police. I've been trying to find the time to do the Jefferson County Sheriffs one as well.

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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmar254 View Post
    I did the Wheat Ridge C.A. class, if was a good time, it gave me a whole new repect for the police. I've been trying to find the time to do the Jefferson County Sheriffs one as well.
    I've been planning on doing the local citizen program here. I am waiting for the dust to settle from my OC encounter and the follow up on that before I do a ride along. At our last shoot/meetup I invited a local Federal LEO. He had a ball and we had a really great time sharing our vision of Freedom with him. Good stuff.

    I will give any man, LE or not, a certain benefit of the doubt before I lump him in with the worst of his occupation. Show me who you are by your actions, not your badge.

    Thanks for being out there M-T!
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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    I will give any man, LE or not, a certain benefit of the doubt before I lump him in with the worst of his occupation. Show me who you are by your actions, not your badge.
    Howdy Freedom First!
    I like how you respond to people, and think it is a wise way to deal with anybody, whether citizen, LEO or anybody for that matter. Show me who you are by your actions! Well said! That's the important thing, and it doesn't matter who anybody says they are, what's important is how they comport themself.

    Now if only we could all take that approach to heart, we'd have a whole lot more neighborliness on the forum!

    Thanks for your post!
    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    Went through something very similar held by a local city police. Very good experience, not to mention fun. Got me interested in digital forensics all over again, which I'm currently pursuing. (Did it a lot about a decade ago. So much has changed!)

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Sounds like an excellent idea and something I'd do if it were offered here.

    Bear in mind those who decry bad actions of some LEOs are NOT against law and order. Quite the contrary. Applied correctly and legally and not treating citizens like predators, it's a good thing.

    Thanks for the report.
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  23. #23
    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Sounds like an excellent idea and something I'd do if it were offered here.

    Bear in mind those who decry bad actions of some LEOs are NOT against law and order. Quite the contrary. Applied correctly and legally and not treating citizens like predators, it's a good thing.

    Thanks for the report.
    Howdy Badger!
    I think I've learned a great deal in taking Citizen's Academy from the Sheriff's Office. The city also has Citizens Academy, in both Denver and Aurora. I'm pretty sure other jurisdictions in the area also have something similar.

    Since joining the Citizen's Academy, we've gone on a crime scene investigation, watched a police K-9 unit demonstration (oh, how I wanted to get into the bite suit and experience what its like to have one of those dogs come at ya...), learned about traffic stops and the motorcycle cops, got a class with Search and Rescue replete with demonstrations of gear they have to find lost folks, got a demonstration of bloodhounds and their ability to track down an individual by our explorer post, and will soon be visiting the county detention center. I'm really looking forward to our coming opportunity to drive a "skid car", and a visit with SWAT and Bomb Squad. Still on deck is a class with Riot Squad too. Lots of great stuff, and much of it "hands on" style learning experience. We also did a simulation of building search following a tornado, and search for survivors with Search and Rescue. Much of our class is lecture, but the hands on stuff is really terrific.

    You might try your local sheriff's office, or local police department, to see if they have a citizen's academy class they offer. If you can find one, it is an excellent experience and one I'm really enjoying myself. Do I agree with everything I've heard in class? Heck no! But most of it is a real insight into our sheriff's department and their operations.

    Skidmark mentioned COPS in another thread. We had a detective who spoke to our class, and he says that within about 15 minutes of watching that show, he'll see a dozen violations of both citizen's rights and police procedure. That goes double for most cop shows that air on televion. I was impressed that he'd be so forthright about that particular observation, but then again, he's been a detective for like 36 years! I figure he can spot violations about as well as anybody.

    I am both impressed with the things we are learning, and proud of our local sheriff's department for giving an average citizen this opportunity. We have a terrific sheriff, and his department is recognized across the nation as a great LEA. I've really come to appreciate their dedication and service to our community in a new and unique way.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Bear in mind those who decry bad actions of some LEOs are NOT against law and order. Quite the contrary. Applied correctly and legally and not treating citizens like predators, it's a good thing.
    Excellent point, and one of the principle reasons as to why the Constitutional Amendment protecting free speech is at the top. When citizens can speak up and out about what's wrong, it's the final check on government. Well, that and voting a bum out of office.


    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    ...oh, how I wanted to get into the bite suit and experience what its like to have one of those dogs come at ya...
    Me, too! I'll bet it's with a good deal more force than I imagine.

    Skidmark mentioned COPS in another thread. We had a detective who spoke to our class, and he says that within about 15 minutes of watching that show, he'll see a dozen violations of both citizen's rights and police procedure. That goes double for most cop shows that air on televion. I was impressed that he'd be so forthright about that particular observation, but then again, he's been a detective for like 36 years! I figure he can spot violations about as well as anybody.
    I'd think a good PD would hold competitions to see who can spot the most TV faux pas. Winner each week gets his bar/meal tab paid for by the others.
    Last edited by since9; 09-23-2011 at 04:38 PM.
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