The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy or (CLEA) is jointly operated by the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office and the Columbus Police Department. This is a rare opportunity for private citizens to obtain first-hand knowledge about law enforcement and public safety operations. Instructors from all areas of both departments discuss the "hows" and "whys" of law enforcement.
During the academy, students are exposed to a variety of topics in an assortment of settings. Emphasis is placed on "hands-on" subject matter to give everyone a more in-depth understanding of law enforcement. Subjects presented include the following:
|• Patrol Operations
||• Criminal Investigations|
|• Crime Scene Investigation
||• Radar Operation|
|• Traffic Accident Investigation
||• Drug/Vice Investigations and DUI & Drug Recognition|
|• Juvenile Operations and Gang Task Force
||• SWAT & Hostage Negotiations|
||• Child Abuse|
|• Sex Crimes
||• Jail Operation|
|• Firearms Familiarization
||• And much more!|
Students will also be offered the opportunity to ride along with on-duty Sheriff's Deputies or Police Officers during normal patrol operations.
The goal of the Academy is to enhance the relationship between private citizens and the law enforcement community. This will provide the citizens with a better understanding of law enforcement to dispel suspicions and misconceptions and to increase police/community rapport. By the same token, law enforcement becomes more aware of the feelings and concerns of the community. All this helps to establish open lines of communication and cooperation.
Classes are held twice a year, in January and July. The Academy is 14 weeks long, including 12 weeks of instruction plus orientation and graduation. Classes begin at 6:00 P.M each Thursday of the class term. Most classes are held in the training facilities of the Columbus Police Department, 510 10th St. In addition, some classes meet at other areas including the Muscogee County Jail and the SWAT training facility.
The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is free to all participants. You must be 21 years old or older to apply. Preference is given to Muscogee County residents and those who work in Muscogee County; however, substantial numbers of others have been accepted. Participants will be screened for suitability. Persons with a known criminal history will not be considered. Also, persons with an extensive driving record will be examined to determine if their reasons for wanting to attend conform to the goals of the academy. A "printable" copy of the CLEA application is also available. A copy of some form of an official photo ID should be included to facilitate a background check. For more information about CLEA contact Sgt. Robert McAneny at (706) 653-4225 or email BMcAneny@columbusga.org.
Completed CLEA applications may also be mailed or delivered to Lt. J. Ross at the Columbus Police Department:
Columbus Police Department
510 10th Street
Columbus, GA 31901