For Cartersville resident Linda Kellogg, attending the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy in 2014 was an eye-opener.
"It was an educational experience. I learned more about what goes on with the sheriff's department and law enforcement in general," Kellogg said, adding one example was 911 operations. " … When people call 911, you really need to call with specific details, because they're really there to help you. Sometimes, when they're asking questions — in my class from what was being shared, it seems like people think [they are] trying to pry, but — they're really trying to help you. … You really need to know [your address and] all those things before you call, because they are really there to help. I was very impressed with the 911 operation.
"I'm just a person that likes to know what's going on in my [county]. Here, we had an opportunity to go and learn something about our county in particular, although we learned something about the surrounding counties. We learned a lot about the salaries and the operations of the sheriff's department, and how they cooperate with the police department [and] GBI."
Currently a part-time consultant for student services at Cartersville High School, Kellogg retired from Cartersville City Schools in 2014 after 22 years.
Finding numerous components of the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy enlightening, she especially enjoyed the opportunity to ride along with a deputy and visit the firing range.
"I just like learning stuff, and then I also wanted to know a little more about guns," Kellogg said. "[We learned] it's not a toy, for one thing — I already knew that, but that was emphasized. … Some of us didn't know about gun permits, [so] we learned where you go and how much it costs.
"We also got an opportunity to go out to the range. … You could bring your own [gun], but if you didn't, they had certain weapons that you could fire. You weren't uncomfortable, because you had somebody trained working with you."
With its next Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy kicking off Sept. 11, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office currently is accepting applications for the complimentary 10-week program. Mainly held on Tuesday evenings, the offering also will feature one Saturday class.
Implemented in 2002, "this program has been a big success and the primary benefit of the program is building a closer relationship with the citizens we serve," stated Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap in a news release posted on the BCSO's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BCSOGA.
In addition to the opportunity to take part in a maximum of three ride-alongs, academy attendees will gain insight into law enforcement duties, such as patrol operations, court services, personal safety, administrative duties, 911 operations, criminal investigations, warrants and civil division, firearms, jail procedures, crime scene investigation, narcotics/K-9 and CPR certification.
To participate in the academy, individuals need to reside in Bartow County, be at least 18, submit an application by Aug. 29 and pass a background check.
Applications are available via email or at the BCSO administration lobby Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Beth Tidwell — administrative assistant for BCSO's training division — at email@example.com or 770-382-5050, ext. 6771.