By JASON DUNOVANT

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is inviting the public to participate in its annual citizens academy starting Aug. 13. The 12-week program gives participants an up-close look at all aspects of sheriff’s office.

Sgt. Darryl King oversees the program and is one of the instructors. He leads class lectures as well as provides a variety of presenters to speak throughout the course.

King said some of the presenters will include patrol officers, investigators, judges, correctional officers and even the commonwealth attorney. “It covers all aspects of the sheriff’s office,” he said.

The class is held every Tuesday at the sheriff’s office from 6 to 9 p.m. King said participants will also visit other locations such as the courthouse and the jail during the program.

Participants will also get some hands-on experience while in the class as well, King said. Investigators will show them how fingerprints are lifted from a crime scene and they will also learn how officers locate missing individuals who are part of the department’s Project Lifesaver program.

King said the program can also lead to taking a larger role in the sheriff’s office as a volunteer. Participants can move on to join the Citizens On Patrol or COPS program.

Volunteers in the COPS program can assist the sheriff’s office in checking in with local residents and businesses, transporting vehicles, directing traffic and running other errands. King said the work the volunteers do helps officers to focus on law enforcement.

“They are a wonderful asset to this agency,” King said.

Anyone interested in participating in this year’s citizens academy can contact Sgt. King by email at darryl.king@franklincountyva.gov.

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