IMAGES Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

by | Mar 7, 2017 | Breaking News, City News, Community, County News, Crime, Cullman, Cullman City, Get Smart, Good Hope, Hanceville, Images, People, Public Safety

IMAGES Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

“The primary goal of the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy is to provide citizens with more knowledge about the role the sheriff’s office is playing in keeping our community a safe place to live.”

The Spring edition of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy kicked off last Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm inside Cullman’s City Hall auditorium.

Images from opening night of the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy can be found below.

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy is a 100% free program made available to Cullman County residents who completed applications to attend following a public announcement back in January.

Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

The official citizen head count of this Academy Spring 2017 Edition exceeded the initial participant ceiling of 50. The Sheriff has generously allowed almost 80 citizens to be a part of the proceedings.

The Academy is comprised of nine consecutive weekly three-hour sessions + optional fields trips in squad cars with deputies, firing range training, an interactive SWAT session, and other educational excursions.

In his welcoming address on opening night, Sheriff Matt Gentry immediately and strongly emphasized that the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office belonged to the citizens of Cullman County. He used the words ‘YOUR Sheriff’s Department’ multiple times in his remarks.

The Sheriff is a strong advocate of transparency inside and outside the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Citizen Academy is a natural extension of his worldview and policy.

Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

Alabama Secretary of State (and likely 2018 Gubernatorial candidate) John Merrill was the spotlight speaker on opening night. Mr. Merrill explained in great detail his efforts to bring the Alabama Secretary of State office up to modern, 21st Centiry standards and function.

Perhaps his best line of the night was:

” … the Secretary of State’s office used to operate at the speed of government. I am working to make it work at the speed of business”.

This statement was in reference to the glacially slow response time he inherited when he took office.

Merrill also touched upon how his office is a vital resource for law enforcement across the state and in Cullman County.

Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

Lieutenant Jason Allen provided an understate yet stunning presentation on sex offenders in Cullman County.

He discussed his role at the Sheriffs Office in that regard. He made it abundantly clear to Citizen Academy students just how seriously Sheriff Gentry and the entire Cullman County Sheriff’s Office take the issue of sexual crime offenders. He detailed how sex offenders in the community are regularly monitored/checked by deputies and how strictly their post-conviction rules of behavior are enforced.

Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

In keeping with Sheriff Gentry message of citizen transparency and involvement, most all attendees loaded up in their cars just before 8:00 pm. They traveled to the Sheriff’s Office on Beech Avenue SE. The new Academy students were divided into three groups. They toured the criminal scene evidence rooms as well as the Department’s state of the art 911 emergency response center.

We spoke with Sheriff Gentry briefly during his jam-packed schedule on the opening night of the Academy:

“The primary goal of the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy is to provide citizens with more knowledge about the role the sheriff’s office is playing in keeping our community a safe place to live. Any law enforcement agency is only as good as the support it receives from the community’s confidence in its operations and activities. The men and women of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office are here to serve you … the citizen’s of the County.”

Session 2 of the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy will resume next tonight at 6:00 pm. The focus will be on:

• Criminal Investigations
• Violent Crime – Homicide – Child Abuse
• Crime Scene Investigations
• Crime Scene Demonstrations

IMAGES from Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017

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IMAGES Opening Night Sheriffs Citizen Academy Spring 2017
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Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.

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