The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will give more residents a peek into the workings of the office and law enforcement in general.

The office will host a 2020 Citizens’ Law Enforcement Academy, the second year of the program, next year.

According to Sheriff Steve Pelton, the Citizens’ Academy is a 12-week program designed to give participants an inside look at law enforcement. During the academy, students will meet weekly to cover a variety of topics providing details of the office functions, community involvement and law enforcement education.

“We are really excited about this,” Pelton told The Missourian. “We started this last year as a community partnership and it went very well.

“We had positive feedback and a fantastic response from the community,” he added,

The classes will be held Monday nights from Jan. 13, 2020, through March 30, 2020. The weekly classes will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Pelton added that the academy is dedicated to “building relationships between the sheriff’s office and the community.”

“The combined effort of residents and deputies encourages the best atmosphere to problem solving,” he said. “Transparency, communication and understanding between deputies and residents are prioritized through education and collaboration.

“This mutual effort will assist deputies and citizens as they address the concerns of the community they live and serve in,” Pelton stated. “We are stronger together.”

The Sheriff’s Office Citizens’ Academy is open to participants who meet the following requirements:

Participants must be 18 years old, and live, work or own property in Franklin County.

They cannot be a convicted felon or have a lengthy violent criminal history.

Students who come under criminal investigation should remove themselves from the program until the investigation is concluded, Pelton added.

The sheriff’s academy is not a physically demanding program. Adults of all ages are encouraged to apply.

The academy won’t produce commissioned officers, but it will strengthen bonds between his office and participants.

Anyone interested can find an application on the sheriff’s office website at franklincountymosheriff.com. The application can be emailed to Melissa Dahms at mdahms@franklinmo.net. For more in formation, people may call the sheriff’s office at 636-582-2560.

By Greg Jones | eMissourian.com