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Citizen’s Academy Is a Wrap

News Editor

Photo by Lydia Berglar – On May 23 during the final week of Citizen’s Academy, two deputies demonstrated a vehicle pullover, with one acting as an intoxicated driver. Throughout the class, citizens participated in mock trials and investigations and also toured law enforcement facilities.

Readers who have followed along over the last several months know that the Dade County Sheriff’s Office has been hosting Citizen’s Academy, a chance for community members to learn about the sheriff’s office and see the places and faces that make up our local law enforcement.

The class wrapped up on May 23 with discussion about traffic stops. Officer Hailey Geddie reported that patrol officers do not discriminate when pulling drivers over, noting, “We’ve caught elderly people trafficking dope.”

Sheriff Cross noted that pulling drivers over for traffic violations is for the safety of the driver and all other drivers. When conducting traffic stops, officers may find drugs in the vehicle (often intended for distribution) or drunk drivers who endanger themselves and others.

Two deputies demonstrated a vehicle pullover, with one acting as an intoxicated motorist and the other conducting a sobriety test.

Reflecting on the class as a whole, participant and former officer Lloyd Kenney said, “My favorite part was seeing the 911 center because the technologies they have today versus when I was in law enforcement…They have a GPS system where 911 can see where every unit is, so if an officer’s involved in a confrontation and they can’t get him on the radio, they know where he’s at. The 911 center is the partner in the call.”

Participant Bob Appeldoorn appreciated learning more about our local law enforcement. He said, “We got to meet the deputies and the officers of the sheriff’s department and find out how they do their jobs.”

Bill and Alice Marrin appreciated hearing from Sheriff Ray Cross, saying, “We liked the opportunity to get to know Ray and understand his philosophy and approach to being sheriff. I like his beliefs. It’s not a perspective you get in a lot of other places. The culture he’s built for his team is really special.”

Bill continued, “You get to know the why behind what they do and the equipment it takes to get the job done. The other thing that’s really intriguing is the focus on ongoing training. The team here is supporting other counties and is considered best practice in how to do training.”

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