District Attorney offers inside look through Citizens Academy


Last updated 8/9/2007 at Noon

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced it will hold its popular expanded Citizens Academy starting in early September on the University of San Diego campus. The ten-week-long Citizens Academy is a free course in partnership with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department that demystifies the criminal justice system and the workings of the District Attorney’s Office for members of the general public.

“This is an amazing opportunity for people to meet prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office and get an insider’s look at what we do,” said DA Bonnie M. Dumanis. “The feedback from the first Citizens Academy last year has led us to expand our efforts this second time around.”

Citizens Academy classes are held once a week for three hours at USD. The course lasts ten weeks and participants receive a certificate upon completion. The academy introduces citizens to the inner workings of the law enforcement system as it is administered by the District Attorney and Superior Court.

The course includes onsite visits to the Sheriff’s Training Facility, central jail and a superior courtroom. A diverse group of speakers from the DA’s Office and Sheriff’s Department will discuss topics ranging from cold case homicide to prosecuting sexually violent predators. Prosecutors and deputies will also cover narcotics, gangs, crime scene investigations, ballistics/firearms, witness protection, Internet crimes against children, sex crimes and stalking, domestic violence, public integrity and the workings of the judicial system.

Praise from those who attended the DA’s first Citizens Academy has been strong. As one graduate wrote, “Real…law enforcement is traditionally an arcane, obscure and sometimes frightening institution; it rarely has its curtain lifted or its interior workings broadly disclosed. If you can afford the time, don’t mind a background check and have an interest in community affairs, by all means apply to be included in this course.”

The Citizens Academy begins Thursday, September 6. Classes will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Manchester Conference Center on the University of San Diego campus at 5998 Alcalá Park. Space is limited. Members of the public wishing to attend the academy should contact the District Attorney’s Office at (619) 515-8294 to make a reservation by August 15. A required application is available online at http://www.sdcda.org/office/academy.php.


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