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First class graduates from sheriff’s office citizens’ academy

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

BOLIVIA—The most recent class to graduate from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office won’t be carrying guns or badges, but they know something about law enforcement.

On Thursday, Dec. 4, 19 students graduated from the first class of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Citizens’ Academy.

During the nine-week course, academy students learned the following law enforcement topics: patrol procedures, crime prevention, dispatching and 911, evidence, crime scene processing, criminal investigations, narcotics enforcement, traffic and DWI, K-9s, gangs, domestic violence, child abuse and sex crimes, SWAT, fingerprinting and firearms safety.

Students also participated in a mock trial and had an opportunity to shoot a firearm at the county range.

“I think it’s important for the citizens to know what the capabilities and the limitations are of the sheriff’s office,” Sheriff John Ingram said about the academy’s role in the community. Through the class, Ingram said students can serve as “ambassadors in their communities,” and “help the sheriff’s office be more efficient and help us fight crimes.”

“I just really appreciate your time, and I hope you’re taking something way from this,” Ingram told graduates Thursday evening.

Tatnall Hurtt, of St. James, said his only regret about the citizens’ academy was not having his wife take the course with him.

“This has been great. I got a lot out of it,” he said of his nine weeks in the program.

Hurtt enlisted in the academy to learn more about the sheriff’s office, and said he came away with a better understanding of what everyone at the sheriff’s office does on a daily basis.

Hurtt said the course gave students “a taste” of what really goes on at the sheriff’s office.

“I’ve really enjoyed teaching you what we do as an agency,” Lt. Joey Scoggins, who oversees crime prevention at the sheriff’s office, told students at their graduation.

“I don’t think it could have gone any better. They were so receptive of everything. It just surprises me people are so willing to learn. They didn’t want the class to end.” Scoggins said.

The sheriff’s office is accepting applications for its next citizens’ academy, which is slated to begin Jan. 8. Scoggins said they are currently accepting applications for the next class. Twenty-five people will be accepted.

For more information about the academy or for an application, call the sheriff’s office at 253-2777.