AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — One agency in Aiken is opening its doors to the public to give them a look at how they operate. It’s a way for residents to get an inside look at their tax dollars at work.
Enter Aiken’s Citizen’s Academy. It’s a once a week, nine-week program giving residents correct information all serviced by instructors who are members of the public safety community.
“Many folks who come into our Citizen’s Academy bring in some preconceptions of what law enforcement does and how we do it and why we do it and what the, what we’re allowed to do,” Aiken Department of Public Safety Lieutenant Jake Mahoney told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
We’re told professionals will talk about basic patrol functions, use of force, community policing, traffic safety, criminal investigations, and many other topics in the national spotlight for those wanting police accountability and transparency. “By the time they complete the course, they’re shocked at what they’ve learned and realized that a lot of those preconceptions were a mistake,” he said.
Lieutenant Jake Mahoney says that the Citizen’s Academy is even a good recruiting tool. They have seen that in action first hand. “We have two officers right now that attended. One was a student at the University of South Carolina Aiken and had a desire to serve in law enforcement. He had applied to several different agencies throughout the state and after attending our Citizen’s Academy decided Aiken was the place that he wanted to serve,” he added.
Meanwhile, those participating will not be trained as police officers or firefighters. You will need to go to training in order to achieve that.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety will be its Citizen’s Public Safety Academy starting September 3. In order to participate, you would have needed to register no later than August 17.
We’ll let you know when you can sign up for the next class here on WJBF.com.