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Citizen academy offers another peek behind the badge

The first Dakota County Sheriff's Office Citizen Academy, held last year, was deemed successful by the county. There was even a waiting list of people interested in participating in the eight-week program.

Registration is now under way for the second citizen academy, set to begin Thursday, March 14, and continue for eight consecutive weeks.

"Our law enforcement people were ready to take this on," said Dakota County Chief Deputy Tim Leslie.

The office had set a limit of about 25. Between 50 and 60 applied.

The Rosemount Police Department also offers a citizens academy.

"This education and informational program was designed so that our citizens can learn more about the issues facing law enforcement in our local communities," said Leslie.

The citizen academy also connects people with the office to "build stronger ties with our citizens and help them to better understand the objectives of law enforcement," Leslie said.

The topics of the eight-week program are the same as last year. They include the history of the sheriff's office, use of force, traffic stops, searching and handcuffing procedures, the driving while impaired (DWI) process, laws of arrest, criminal charging process, judicial process, Special Weapons and Tactical Team, a Taser demonstration, a canine demonstration, crime scene processing, Internet crimes and an overview of the Dakota County Jail. Locations will vary.

Attendees will tour the jail and will be part of different scenarios to familiarize them with the sheriff's office.

The program is for adults 18 and older. There is no charge. All applicants must pass background identification to be considered for participation in the academy.

Each session runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays beginning March 14, and concluding May 2. There is no charge for the program.

For more information, or if interested in attending the Citizen Academy, contact Capt. Jim Rogers at 651-438-4721 or Jim.Rogers@co.dakota.

Rosemount's citizen police academy will run April 1-May 13. Applications are now available online,