Applications for the citizens police academy can be picked up at the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office at 5842 Highway 41, Ringgold, GA 30736 or email Capt. Shane Fann at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants also can call Fann at 706-935-2424.
The Catoosa County Sheriff's Office plans to launch its first citizens police academy with a bang — a lot of them.
Participants will get to learn about and shoot guns during a Saturday class at a firing range.
"We will go out there and do demonstrations," Capt. Shane Fann said. "We have anything from our basic handgun, a .40-caliber, to a fully automatic M-16."
Other highlights of the academy's 10 classes from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays will be learning about criminal investigations, how the jail works and how deputies patrol the 162-square-mile county. Participants also will get to know Storm, the sheriff's office's K-9 dog, a Belgian Malinois that works and lives with Deputy Taylor Martin.
As is common with police dogs, the Malinois doesn't respond to commands in English. That prevents suspects from trying to tell it what to do.
Fann hopes the academy, open to county residents over age 21, will be informative -- and fun.
"We're hoping it will be," he said. "We're hoping the students will really enjoy it and get a lot out of it."
Sheriff Gary Sisk launched the academy, Fann said, because it's one of the things residents asked for when he campaigned in November.
There's no charge to participate.
Class starts on April 29, and graduation is June 8. Space is limited to 20 students, and applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.