The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is inviting all residents and potential volunteers, age 18 or older, to attend the North County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy, beginning at 6 p.m. Sept. 10.

The first class will be held at the Solvang Veterans Hall, at 1745 Mission Drive. Classes will be every Wednesday evening for six weeks, and held at a variety of locations throughout the county, with a graduation barbecue on Oct. 18.

The Citizens Academy was developed to better educate the public in the duties and training of Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies. It also helps foster a mutual trust and cooperation with law enforcement and residents.

Attendees will meet Sheriff Bill Brown, tour the county jail and dispatch center, interact with sheriff’s detectives, shoot real and simulated firearms, test driving skills and meet the “real people behind the star.”

All potential volunteers with the department are required to attend a Citizens Academy. For more information, call Senior Deputy Charlie Uhrig at 805.452.8073.

Class size is limited. Applications are available at any of the North County Sheriff sub-stations and must be returned, attn: Senior Deputy Uhrig-Solvange, to any sheriff station by Tuesday.

Sgt. Alex Tipolt is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.