Course Teaches Law Enforcement
February 18, 2011
Written By: Preston Orrick
Three times per year, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office encourages all citizens to participate in a free 10 week course, called the ‘Citizen’s Academy.’ The course covers how law enforcement and the justice system work in Indian River County.
Participants of the course meet once a week for two hours. Topics covered include drug awareness, identity theft, methods to stop crime, traffic control, victim’s assistance and community service. Participants are also given a tour of the county jail, which includes an 80 person cell block.
Special Operations are also covered including K-9 attack dogs, police helicopters and marine boats. Participants are given the chance to look through two sheriff helicopters as well as three patrol and pursuit boats.
Every meeting is informative and focuses on a particular topic. Several different specialists, such as detectives, officers and deputies, speak to the class about their specialized jobs. One demonstration includes a K-9 unit sniffing out hidden drugs, as well as attacking K-9 officers wearing protective gear.
An I.D. Theft Apparatus and several mechanical devices are also shown, used to steal credit card numbers at parking lots, gas stations and public venues such as ‘Disney World.’ According to Deputy Roberta Barker, “Identity Theft is the world’s number one crime.”
Officers specializing in illegal drugs bring in over a hundred samples of these kinds of drugs. Videos of hidden cameras inside illegal pill mills are also shown. “The biggest drug problem are the pill mills.”, said Sergeant Rick Vidiri.
Participants get the chance to meet with several public officials, including a judge at the local courthouse, the District Attorney, the head public defender and the sheriff courthouse staff. Plenty of time is given at the end of the meetings for questions and answers.
Graduates of the course can serve as volunteers for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office. Some volunteer tasks include driving around in a volunteer squad car and helping with administrative needs.
More information about the course can be found here. Pre-Registration is required and the course has limited seating, so citizens wanting to participate in the course are encouraged to apply early.