Citizen's Academy

Community involvement is the most powerful force a law enforcement agency has in the fight against crime. Through the Citizen’s Academy, citizens can become more involved in making Martin County a better place to live.


The Citizen’s Police Academy concept started in England. It was first adopted in the United States by the Orlando, Florida Police department in 1985. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office version is simply called the Citizen’s Academy. It is modeled after the Orlando academy and designed to promote better understanding between the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Martin County.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy offers a different and exciting program unique to our area. Indeed, the curriculum is not what you might expect. Classes cover all areas of law enforcement.


Typically the students attracted to the Academy are a culturally diverse group of people including bankers, businessmen and women, school teachers, and citizens from all walks of life. The Citizen’s Academy is offered at no cost to the participants. The instructors are Deputy Sheriffs and Corrections Deputies who volunteer their time and experience.


Citizens will learn about virtually every aspect of the deputies’ job from:

  • Administration
  • Bomb Disposal
  • Corrections Facility
  • Crime Scene Investigations
  • Criminal Law
  • Detectives
  • E911 Communications
  • Juvenile Offenders
  • Patrol Operations
  • Recruiting
  • SWAT
  • Traffic Enforcement

Students are not limited to the classroom, instead, they are given the opportunity to ride along with a live Deputy on shift, tour the jail, and work a crime scene.

Learning Outcome

Although graduates of the Citizen’s Academy are not qualified for sworn daily street duty, they do acquire a much better understanding of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office operations and constitutional responsibilities. Citizen Academy graduates gain greater awareness and appreciation of the difficult challenges and decisions a Deputy Sheriff faces every day.

Academy Options

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office offers two different Citizen Academies:

  • One Day Academy - While receiving the same topics as the ten-week academy, attendees will get a more condensed version of each of the topics.
  • Ten Week Academy - This is held once a week for eight weeks. Attendees will have a "hands-on" approach to Law Enforcement.