Sheriff Roundtree starts police academy for the community - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Sheriff Roundtree starts police academy for the community

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Sheriff Richard Roundtree checked off another plan on the agenda he promised before becoming sheriff.  The first Citizens Police Academy began Tuesday, a community based program for the public as a way for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office to be more transparent in the community.

"We're not going to leave anything out, we wanted people to know what our officers go through and hopefully by working together they can understand, they can get a better bond," said Sheriff Roundtree.  

Sheriff Roundtree explained his vision for Richmond County's first Citizen's Police Academy.

"It became an us versus them [the community] and one of the things I wanted to do is that I wanted to bridge that gap," said Sheriff Roundtree.

Bridging the gap between the community and the RSCO, an initiative Sheriff Roundtree wanted to complete in his first 90 days in office, a vision that came to fruition Tuesday night.

The initial group going through the academy is the Citizen's Advisory Council these people were appointed by outside officials in the community from the Mayor, Richmond County Superintendent, county commissioners, and the Chamber of Commerce.

"Of course we are going to show them the tactical side of it, the way they deal with firearms, with driving training with the anxiety of being in a chase and people think it's just all fun and games," said Roundtree. "But they don't know what it's like to get in a car going 100 miles an hour and know all the risk factors involved."

The 15 council members represent all different aspects of the community from retirees to recent graduates including the president of a local homeowner's association.

"Being able to bring the neighborhood concept, that viewpoint to the table and get attention to that because I feel that our neighborhoods are our greatest asset so if you don't have the people in the community, you will have a community," said Sammie Sias.

The program lasts 12 weeks and the council is going through some intense training, learning the in's and out's of law enforcement, leaving with a complete understanding of what deputies experience on a daily basis.

Their goal is to have four academies a year and anyone interested can contact the RCSO and sign up. To participate, you must be 21 years old and must successfully complete a background check.

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