SCSO registering now for Citizens’ Sheriff Academy

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – Members of the public looking to gain a more in-depth understanding of what it takes to keep the community safe will have a chance to do so during the 12-week Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Citizens’ Sheriff Academy.

As of Feb. 22, the SCSO still had seats available for its next Citizens’ Academy, which will begin on Thursday, March 7.

“The Shelby County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy provides you with an opportunity to experience the real world of law enforcement and what it is like to be a sheriff’s deputy,” read the class description. “It is designed to help the public better understand the mission, operations and functions of the Sheriff’s Office, heighten community awareness, and improve communications between the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the communities it serves.

“Through presentations and demonstrations from the deputies themselves, you will learn some of the techniques and resources they use to train for duty, from traffic stops to drug enforcement to tactical team response,” read the description. “In addition to classroom instruction, you will experience live scenarios that place you right in the action. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Unit will demonstrate situations that they are trained to handle. From the planning stage through execution you will see how they prepare for a mission and why they use the methods and techniques they use.”

During the course, participants will be able to get a look at some of the weapons and equipment used by the SCSO, will have a chance to take part in a ride-along with a patrol deputy, and will see videos of actual situations encountered by law enforcement officers.

Course topics will include:

-Sheriff’s Office organization and staffing

-Laws and the court system


-Vehicle stops/pursuits/DUI

-Accident investigations

-Criminal investigations

-Drug Task Force

-Tactical Response Unit

-Special units

-Alabama firearms laws and safety training

The class will meet from 6:30-9 p.m. on Thursday of each week, and will have one Saturday session from 8 a.m.-noon to allow participants to receive basic firearms safety training on the SCSO firing range. Class dates will be from March 7-May 23.

The class will be open to participants 18 years and older who live or work in Shelby County. Those who miss more than two class days will not be able to graduate from the course, and dress code is business casual with no shorts or T-shirts allowed.

“Due to the nature of the academy and activities presented, all applicants are subject to criminal history background checks, as well as driver history checks conducted by the Sheriff’s Office as a condition for acceptance into the program,” according to the SCSO.

To register, contact Sgt. Chris Robertson at or by phone at 670-6321.