Crime - Sacto 911

Citizens Academy to tackle issues affecting area residents, law enforcement

Issues such as racial profiling, gang activity and hate crimes, as well as policing and judicial procedures, will be discussed during a 10-week Citizens Academy sponsored by Sacramento-area law enforcement agencies.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced that applications are being accepted for the 2015 Citizens Academy, scheduled to begin April 7.

The academy was created to improve communication, foster a better understanding and develop relationships between members of the criminal justice system and the area’s ethnic, cultural and faith-based communities, as well as local citizens, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release. Since 2002, the program has graduated 14 classes with more than 800 participants.

The academy sessions provide an overview of the criminal justice system and engage participants in discussion of issues within the system. New topics this year will include current sensitive community issues and how Proposition 47 affects the judicial system.

Representatives of the DA’s office, Public Defender’s Office, law enforcement, the judiciary and community organizations will present information, answer questions and discuss community concerns.

The academy is offered free of charge, with sessions scheduled on Tuesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 7 through June 9 at the Sacramento Police Department headquarters, 5770 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 13. Applications are available online, http://www.sacda.org/communityrelations/citizens-academy/. They also may be requested by calling Cecile Velasco at (916) 874-7428, or emailing velascoc@sacda.org.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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