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Sheriff’s office resuming its citizens academy

Want to get an insider’s view of how the Erie County Sheriff’s Office operates?

Then you might consider enrolling in the upcoming sheriff’s Citizens Academy, a three-hour course one night a week for nine weeks, starting March 11.

Topics will include the business side of running the department, how special squads function, jail and holding center operations, firearms training and special services featuring SWAT, aviation and marine units.

The academy is being resumed following an eight-year absence because of budget cuts, according Sheriff Timothy B. Howard.

“I’m very proud of what our employees do and this academy is an opportunity to enlighten members of the community,” Howard said. “Graduates are ambassadors who help further spread this news and I’ve never had a graduate not say, ‘Wow, I never knew you did so much.’”

The classes are held from 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday in different facilities maintained by the sheriff’s office throughout the county. Applicants must be at least 21, an Erie County resident and undergo a criminal background check.

There are 35 openings for the academy and in past years the academy has run at full capacity.

A special web page with complete descriptions of each class and locations is available at The multi-page enrollment application is also available at the site. Applicants are required to print it out, answer all questions, sign and notarize it before mailing the document to:

Karen Weatherbee, c/o Erie County Sheriff’s Office, 10 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, N.Y., 14201

The deadline for filing applications for the 2015 spring academy is Feb. 12.