Fannin County Sheriff's Office

Citizen Law Enforcement Academy

On Thursday, January 1, 2012, Sheriff Dane Kirby announced the creation of the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Law Enforcement Academy.

As part of Sheriff Kirby’s continuing efforts to make the Sheriff’s Office more transparent and responsive to the community, the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy was implemented.

The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy program was originally developed in England as a means of bringing the community and the police closer together. The first Citizens Law Enforcement Academy in the United States was conducted by the Orlando, Florida Police Department in 1985. These programs are now common in law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

The primary goal of the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is to enhance the relationship between the citizens and the law enforcement community. Graduates of the program will have a better understanding of law enforcement and many misconceptions of “what we do, how we do it and why we do it.”

To an individual citizen, it may sometimes appear that we in law enforcement are not doing our jobs or are exceeding our authority. Citizens obtain the vast majority of their knowledge of law enforcement through the media, especially television shows such as “CIS, Cops” and the other similar programs. These shows do not accurately portray the way law enforcement really functions. By allowing citizens a firsthand look at what laws, rules, regulations and procedures we must follow, a culture of mutual understanding will be developed and many myths about law enforcement will be replaced with facts.

The program is not designed to train individuals to become law enforcement officers, but to produce informed citizens.

Another goal of our program is to bring the citizens and Sheriff’s Office personnel closer together and create open lines of communication. This personal interaction will develop a sense of “partnership” between the community and the Sheriff’s Office. Ultimately, as the citizens and law enforcement personnel interact during this program, a bond based in trust and knowledge will develop between the community and members of the Sheriff’s Office.

The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is 13 weeks long and meets one evening a week for three hours each night. Each session is limited to fifteen students that are selected on a “first come, first serve” basis. The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office will offer this program two times in 2012 beginning in February, 2012.

The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is open to all Fannin County residents, employees, and business owners age 21 and over. A criminal back ground check is required prior to selection as a student.

The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy provides students with hands-on training and law enforcement knowledge in a friendly, non-confrontational environment.

The course is conducted by the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office and all instructors in this program are Sheriff’s Office employees with exception of the District Attorney’s Office Investigator. Topics include Constitutional law, criminal investigations, patrol procedures, traffic enforcement and use of force. Students will observe S.W.A.T. demonstrations and ride with deputies on actual patrol. Tours of all agency facilities are also included.

The first 2012 session of the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Law Enforcement Academy begins on Wednesday, February 8. For further information regarding this very informative and fun program, please contact the program coordinator, Major Keith L. Bosen at 706-258-5255 or