Q&A Tuesday: Training the sheriff’s extra eyes and ears
Emory Crews is the volunteer coordinator with the Carson City Sheriff’s Department. For 19 hours a week, Crews recruits new members, organizes Citizens Academies, places volunteers and handles personnel issues. He began as a volunteer himself two years ago and was appointed to the position left vacant by the death of former coordinator Ken Sorensen.
What is the purpose of the Citizens Academy?
In keeping with the mission of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department of providing the highest level of law enforcement and forming a partnership with the residents of the community, Sheriff Kenny Furlong established the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy. The Academy brings to light the knowledge that residents’ awareness plays an all important roll in keeping our community safe.
How often are the academies given?
The Sheriff’s Citizens Academy, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 13, is held twice a year. Classes will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday evenings. The academy will last for 10 consecutive weeks. Applicants are asked to commit to full attendance of all scheduled classes.
Are there any qualifications to attend the Citizens Academy?
The academy is open to everyone 18 years of age or older. Because of the sensitivity of the material, we ask that an applicant be free of any past felony convictions. Preference to attend the academy will be given to Carson City residents, merchants, local businesses and their employees.
What kind of things can the attendees expect to learn?
The academy offers the opportunity to observe and experience the various type of training that is given to sheriff’s deputies. Attendees will receive first-hand knowledge from law enforcement personnel about patrol operations, arrest procedures, defensive tactics, specialized units that deal with illegal drugs, removal of graffiti, forensic techniques and duties of the Coroner’s Office. Academy attendees are also given a tour of the Jail Facility, Administration Building, and Emergency Dispatch Center.
The last Academy was in Spanish. Are there other Spanish or specialized academies on the horizon?
Our Spanish academy held earlier this year was a tremendous success. We hope to duplicate that success with more of these in the future. The sheriff’s plan is to hold specialized academies throughout the year. These would include an academy for senior citizens, and another for Spanish-speaking persons. An academy is also being considered for teenagers.
With new-building construction coming next year, will the academies be suspended?
Academy classes are presently being held in the jail’s visiting conference room. It is in a completely separate building than that which houses the Sheriff’s Department. Construction of the new sheriff’s facility should not interfere with academy classes whatsoever.
If someone wants to volunteer with the Sheriff’s Department, what should they do?
The volunteer program offered by the Sheriff’ Department is a positive way that residents can give back to the community. The program utilizes voluntary services of local residents to enhance existing police services. Applications to become a sheriff’s volunteer may be obtained at the front counter of the Sheriff’s Department at 901 E. Musser St. The application must be completed in its entirety and returned to the front counter. To learn more about the requirements of becoming a volunteer, interested persons should call me at 887-2020 ext. 1149.
What’s the connection between the citizen’s academy and the volunteer program?
The Citizen’s Academy is completely separate from the Volunteer in Policing program. There is no requirement that attending the academy places a person in a volunteer status.
How valuable are the attendees to the ongoing volunteer program and to the community?
Attending the Sheriff’s Department Citizen’s Academy is not only self rewarding, it is community rewarding. The partnership formed between the Carson City sheriff and the residents of Carson City is vital for a stable and safe community. I am hopeful that when a sheriff volunteer is observed by someone who has attended the academy, they will be looked upon with new eyes. Sheriff volunteers are neighbors who are giving of themselves for the benefit of our community.