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The Citizens Law Enforcement Academy is jointly operated by the Columbus Police Department, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and the Muscogee County Marshal’s Office.  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
  • Professional Standards
  • Drug/Vice Investigations and DUI & Drug Recognition
  • Juvenile Operations and Gang Task Force
  • SWAT & Hostage Negotiations
  • 911
  • Child Abuse
  • Sex Crimes
  • Jail Operation
  • Muscogee County Courts
  • Evictions and Civil Processes
  • Firearms Familiarization
  • Much, much more

Students will also be offered the opportunity to ride along with on-duty Police Officers or Sheriff's or Marshal’s Deputies 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 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.

Anyone 21 years of age and older may 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 application is available by clicking here.  The application should be mailed to Lt. Herman Miles, Columbus Police Dept., Box 1866, Columbus, GA  31902.  A copy of some form of an official photo ID should be included to facilitate a background check.

The Academy is free to all participants.
Classes are held twice a year, in January and July.  The Academy is 16 weeks long and includes orientation, instruction, 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 Government Center, the Muscogee County Jail and the SWAT training facility.