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Citizens Academy Returns by Popular Demand

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Starting in early September, the District Attorney’s Office will hold its popular Citizens Academy on the University of San Diego campus.

The ten-week long Citizens Academy is a free course in partnership with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department that demystifies the criminal justice system and the workings of the District Attorney's Office for members of the general public.

“This is an amazing opportunity for people to meet prosecutors in the DA's Office and get an inside look at what we do,” said District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis.

“This year’s course touches on several topics like juvenile justice and animal cruelty that directly relate to recent high-profile cases.”

Citizens Academy classes are held once a week for ten weeks. The Academy introduces citizens to the inner-workings of the law enforcement system as it is administered by the District Attorney and Superior Court. The course includes a behind-the-scenes look at how Sheriff’s deputies protect themselves on the job, and an in-depth tour of lockdown at the Central Jail facility.

A diverse group of speakers from the DA’s Office and Sheriff’s Department will discuss topics ranging from cold case homicide to prosecuting sexually violent predators. Prosecutors and deputies will also cover narcotics, gangs, crime scene investigations, ballistics/firearms, witness protection, Internet crimes against children, sex crimes and stalking, domestic violence, and prison reentry programs.

Praise from those who attended the DA’s first Citizens Academy has been strong. As one Academy graduate wrote,

“Real…law enforcement is traditionally an arcane, obscure and sometimes frightening institution; it rarely has its curtain lifted or its interior workings broadly disclosed. If you can afford the time, don’t mind a background check and have an interest in community affairs, by all means apply to be included in this course.”

The Citizens Academy begins Tuesday, September 9 and runs Tuesday or Wednesday evenings through November 12. Classes will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice on the University of San Diego campus.

Space is limited. Members of the public wishing to attend the academy should contact the District Attorney's Office at (619) 515-8294 to make a reservation by September 2nd.

Course dates, the required program application, and previous video of Citizens Academy sessions are available online.