Back in October 2012, I ran across the application for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy and said to myself, “I MUST APPLY FOR THAT!” But sadly I had just missed the due date and the class had already started. I bookmarked the page and continued to check it regularly. Thus when I made my 2013 list, I realllllly wanted to add the Citizen Academy, but since I knew virtually nothing (the website just had an application, but no info), I didn’t add it because it seemed so off the wall.
But it never left my mind.
In August, I checked the link and suddenly there was a new application and class start date. Once I had applied, my three great friends (and colleagues), Courtney, Angela, and David, decided they wanted to join, too. We all started working at new schools this year so this was a random way that we could still see each other every week.
Most everyone asks me, “So are you going to be a police officer…? What is the thing about?” As you can see from the letter, the purpose of the academy was not to make us sworn officers, but to inform and involve us in the complexities of the sheriff’s office.
IT WAS SO AWESOME! This is by far the best goal I made all year. I have about 11 years of college under my belt, and this three month class was by far the most informative and entertaining class I’ve ever taken. So what did we do?
Last weekend I was listening to the news in the car, and they were reporting a body had been recovered in the Willamette River by the Sheriff’s riverboat team, which could not be identified so it was being sent to the county’s medical examiner for an autopsy and possible sketch. It was so cool to realize that I had done a ridealong with the riverboat team (who talked about body recoveries) and met the forensic sketch artist (who also did a GREAT presentation for my students) who would help make a sketch to for someone to identify the body. In my head I had a very clear picture of what was happening.
While I’m very sad the class is now over, I’m excited to think about the path this has put me on. There are several volunteer opportunities through the sheriff’s office that I’m considering, and I fully intend to apply for the FBI Citizen Academy in the spring.
I fully recommend that anyone who wants to know more about law enforcement (without committing to a new career path) take this class. There are Citizen Academies all over the country – just google it.