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Sheriff’s Office Announces First-Ever Citizen’s Academy for College Students, Isla Vistans

Partcipants in a previous Citizen’s Academy learn about handling police dogs. Click to view larger
Partcipants in a previous Citizen’s Academy learn about handling police dogs. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, UCSB Police Department and the City of Goleta are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the first-ever Citizen’s Academy for Isla Vista residents and college students in Santa Barbara County.  

The eight-week interactive course begins March 9, 2016, and runs through April 20, 2016, with classes from 6-9 p.m. every Wednesday night at various locations throughout Santa Barbara County.

The class ends with a graduation ceremony and celebratory barbecue Saturday, April 23, 2016.

While the Sheriff’s Office historically puts on a yearly Citizen’s Academy open to the general public, this is the first time one has been created just for Isla Vista residents and college students in Santa Barbara County.

The course includes classes on active shooter training, use of force, search and seizure law, building searches, arrest and control, firearms and K-9 operations, just to name a few.

Organizers are excited about this historic opportunity to offer this particular audience what is sure to be a tremendous learning experience.  

“This Citizen’s Academy is especially important in light of recent events that have taken place throughout our country,” said Isla Vista Community Resource Deputy James McKarrell.

“It gives our community members a more in-depth look into how law enforcement operates. It also provides insight into the oath that we as law enforcement officers have made to protect and serve our communities,” he said. “It allows us to be more transparent and helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and the public.”

Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lieutenant Rob Plastino said, “This Citizen’s Academy will give the people of Isla Vista and college students in our area an upfront seat to the many facets of the Sheriff’s Office.”

“Much of the program is designed around the concept of learning-by-doing which allows participants to go through training and be ‘hands on’ with our tools and equipment, all within a controlled teaching environment. If there are individuals in our community who have wondered why or how law enforcement operates, this is the perfect chance,” he said.

UCPD Sgt. Matt Bowman agreed that it will be an eye-opening experience for participants.

“Law enforcement on television and law enforcement in reality are very different things,” he said. “This Citizen’s Academy is an interactive way for members of the community to learn what officers and deputies really do. The program gives people as close to an all access pass to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and UCSB Police Department as anyone can get. It’s designed for the person considering a career in law enforcement as well as someone just curious about the profession.”  

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Dave Valadez, the Community Resource Deputy for the City of Goleta, has organized the past several Citizen’s Academies and said he is particularly excited about this one.  

“Students make up a large portion of the population. This will give the student population and the communities of Isla Vista and Goleta the opportunity to share perspectives, to spread awareness and to build partnerships with law enforcement and each other,” he said.

Due to popular demand and limited availability, the Sheriff’s Office will be putting on additional Citizen’s Academies in different areas of Santa Barbara County this year to allow more people to participate. Specific details including dates and locations will be announced in the near future.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of this historic Citizen’s Academy for Isla Vista residents and college students in Santa Barbara County, please submit an application found on our website at www.sbsheriff.org.  

You can scan and email the application to Senior Deputy Dave Valadez at [email protected] or to UCPD Sgt. Matt Bowman at [email protected].  

If you would prefer to drop off your application in person, please put in a sealed envelope and drop off at the Isla Vista Foot Patrol sub-station at 6504 Trigo Road or at the Sheriff’s Marketplace sub-station at 7042 Marketplace Drive in Goleta.  

The spots fill up quickly, so a prompt response is recommended. Applications must be submitted no later than March 4, 2016.  

For additional information, please call Senior Deputy Dave Valadez at 805.319.9773.

Kelly Hoover is the public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sherrif's Office.


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