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Andy Ouriel • Jun 6, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Local law enforcement revive course designed to educate residents on the inner workings of the police world. 

Chiefs, captains, commanders and others representing four law enforcement agencies in Erie County will offer the free program to anyone who’s interested.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Sandusky Police Department offered a free Citizens Academy in the mid-2000s, but the program dissolved when interest waned.

It seems people are once again curious about local law enforcement, and they want a behind-the-scenes look at exactly what goes on.

“I envisioned a cooperative learning experience for both the community participants and law enforcement personnel,” Sandusky city commissioner Diedre Cole said.

Cole spearheaded talks with local law enforcers earlier this year to help rejuvenate the academy.

“This is an opportunity to see firsthand how each agency works, see overlap and redundancies, clear up misconceptions, learn tactics and interact with them,” Cole said.

The top officials from participating agencies offered comments as to why residents should sign up for the free academy:

* Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth: I believe that it is important for citizens to view firsthand the vitally important operations of their local law enforcement agencies and to learn how their tax dollars that are allocated for law enforcement purposes are being spent.

* Huron police Chief Robert Lippert: It gives citizens a chance to meet police officers at times other than the worst times. Most of their interactions with police are at the worst times, such as if they’re the victim of a crime or the complainant on a call. It also gives citizens a chance to see all the inner workings of a police agency.

* Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar: I feel that this is an opportunity for anyone in the community to gain a better understanding of what law enforcement does. Giving citizens an opportunity to better understand all facets of police work is something that cannot be accomplished in a ride along.

* Sandusky police Chief John Orzech: The citizens should participate if they have a desire to get an understanding of what law enforcement officers do on a daily basis. I see this as a tremendous opportunity to bring a diverse group of citizens together in a very positive learning experience.


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