ASHEBORO – A chance for residents to take an up-close view of the Randolph County Sherriff’s Office is back in place.
Classes for the Sherriff’s Citizen Academy begin on March 22.
The eight sessions are described as a means to learn more about law enforcement operations and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office internal processes. The goal is to improve law enforcement/community relations through a formalized educational process.
Department spokeswoman Amanda Varner said usually a couple of dozen residents participate in each academy. Some form of the academy has been in place since 2016, she said.
Division lieutenants and captains conduct the sessions that fall into their specialties, Varner said. Those are condensed from standard training curriculum of sheriff’s deputies.
Past participant Denise Hill offered a written endorsement of the academy.
“I attended the last session and I would recommend this academy to anyone,” Hill wrote. “You will see all the areas of our (sheriff’s) department. The sessions are enlightening and informative. You interact with the deputies each week.”
While not designed to be a recruiting tool, the academy has spawned opportunities for some participants, Varner said.
One woman who took part in the academy ended up with a job with the county’s emergency services department.
Sessions are held once a week from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays, with most of the classes at Randolph County Emergency Services Headquarters at 760 New Century Dr., Asheboro.
According to information from the sheriff’s office, the Citizen Academy will accomplish the following:
- Citizens will be able to make more informed judgments about the sheriff’s office and law
- The sheriff’s office will become more aware of the feelings and concerns of the community,
as expressed by attending citizens.
- Citizens and sheriff’s representatives will have an opportunity to explore together some of
the traditional suspicions and misconceptions generally harbored by both citizens and
sheriff’s deputies. Through open discussion of such suspicions and misconceptions, a more
harmonious climate for relationships may be established.
Participants must be age 21 or older and must not be convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor or have received a prayer for judgement for either or have pending charges. A background investigation will be conducted on applicants.
Deadline to apply is March 1. Applications can be obtained at www.randolphcountync.gov
The academy class that began in March 2020 was interrupted by the pandemic. By the time that edition of the academy ended, it was October 2021 with 16 participants making it to the end.
Varner said the sheriff’s office is planning to hold two academies each year, with the other to start this autumn.