Lexington County residents who want a deeper understanding of how local law enforcement works will get their chance this coming August when the Lexington County Sheriff's Department again opens enrollment for its Public Safety Citizens Academy.
Begun in 1996, the 12-week-long academy just recently graduated its latest class, consisting of 13 county residents. The graduates included:
- Stephen Bonifas, of Irmo
- Gay Byrd, of Lexington
- Thomas Embrey, of Cayce
- Anna Evans, of Lexington
- Richard Freytag, of Lexington
- Ashley Owens, of Lexington
- Brett Parks, of Lexington
- Anna Parks, of Lexington
- Kathryn Perrich, of Columbia
- Dylan Pollock, of Lexington
- Tammy Trevathan, of Lexington
- Richard Wagoner, of Lexington
- Robert Winchester, of Lexington
During the academy, Sheriff’s Department supervisors inform participants about how regional patrol operations reduce the amount of time that it takes deputies to respond to calls for help, Sheriff James Metts said.
Participants also learn how telecommunications officers dispatch law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel. A detective who investigates gang activity also informs citizens about how they can work in partnership with law enforcement to report gang activity in the county.
The next session of the academy is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, August 28, Metts said. Classes will be held between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. every Tuesday for 12 weeks.
In order to be eligible for enrollment in the academy, persons must be at least 18 years old and reside in Lexington County, Metts said. Persons who have been convicted of serious crimes are not eligible.
Citizens who want to apply for the academy, or who have questions concerning the program, can contact the Sheriff’s Department administrative assistant Lori Drafts at (803) 785-2557, or via e-mail at email@example.com.