After seven weeks of classes and first-hand experiences with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, 20 residents will graduated Saturday from the South Coast Sheriff’s Citizens Academy.

The graduation took place during ceremonies at Stow Grove Park in Goleta.

The attendees received certificates recognizing their completion of an eight-class course that included both classroom and field training.

The Santa Barbara County residents had the opportunity to participate in a number of behind-the-scenes opportunities and adventures with sheriff’s deputies and detectives.

Just to name a few, they participated in a virtual crime scene, examined a bomb-diffusing robot and toured the Santa Barbara County Jail.

They also observed the S.W.A.T team and K-9 Specialty Units at work.

They experienced law enforcement driving simulators and force option simulators to demonstrate the decision making processes sheriff’s deputies go through when deciding how to respond to different scenarios.

The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to give the public a better understanding of what the Sheriff’s Office does on daily basis to protect its citizens.  If you would like more information on the program visit our website

Kelly Hoover is the public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.