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Sheriff’s Office citizens academy especially relevant, Howard says

For the fourth year in a row, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will be staging a citizens academy designed to give county residents ages 21 and up a nine-week look at all the operations of his agency. It begins Sept. 14.

Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard on Thursday said the academy seems more relevant than ever with recent shootings of lawmen across the nation.

“I always thought this program was great and allowed the citizens of Erie County to get an up-close-and-personal look at the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office” and recent events make it more important to “help people understand what a deputy goes through each day.”

The enrollment deadline is Aug. 21. Applications for the fall session can be downloaded at

The academy will be limited to 30 participants and all applicants must submit to a background check, according to Scott Zylka, the sheriff’s public information officer.

During the roughly nine weeks of the course, participants will tour both jail facilities operated by the Sheriff’s Office, visit its firing range, go on a ride-along with the Marine Unit and hear from the various unit commanders about their operations.

The academy program will end with a graduation dinner where participants will receive a certificate from the sheriff and have an opportunity to join the citizens’ academy alumni group, Zylka said.

For questions about the academy, call 858-7025.

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