CitizenAcademy

PHOTO: Platte County Sheriff’s Department

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — The Platte County Sherriff’s Office announced a citizens’ academy this fall in Platte County.

The academy will be the third hosted by the Platte County Sheriff’s Office. Both citizens of Platte County and business owners in the area are elligible to participate.

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen, said the Citizens’ Academy gives people hands on experience with real life scenarios.

“They actually start processing a motor vehicle crash,” Owen said. “They will do evidence collection, where they’ll actually … collect fingerprints from different types of surfaces and recover evidence.”

Owen explained participants will also go through a video led experience that allows them to be placed in various situations officers experience, including use of force. Owen said this gives the sheriff’s deputies the chance to work with the public and help them understand how officers make decisions.

OwenSheriff

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen

“We can actually play them back and show what their response was, you know, if they were too slow,” Owen explained. “Possibly they were injured. If they were … inappropriate behavior based on what their visualization was and maybe whether they deployed a taser and they (shouldn’t have) or they deployed a weapon and they (shouldn’t have).”

Owen added this is the 3rd Citizens’ Academy, back by popular demand after the turnout from the first two. While citizens of Platte County enjoy them, he said it is a great way for the Sheriff’s Department to promote transparency.

“They leave there with a lot better understanding of what it takes to be an officer,” Owen said. “They understand the situations that we encounter … we try everyday to be transparent, and this is just another opportunity to give them a chance to really sit in our shoes; try to explain to them what we see, what we do, what we have to learn, the complexity of the laws and why you can’t just take some actions.”

The 3rd Citizens’ Academy begins September 8, 2015. The final date for registration is August 24, 2015. To register, visit www.plattesheriff.org/sheriffs-citizens-academy.