Citizens Academy

Citizens Academy


Citizens Academy

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Do you have an interest in learning about law enforcement? The Van Buren County Sheriff's Department Citizens Academy is held once a year, and is a 10-week program designed to give Van Buren County residents an inside look at what goes into the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department. 

Every Wednesday, classes will be held from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Van Buren County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in Paw Paw. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department Citizens Academy is free, and enrollment is open to all qualified residents. 

Like many other successful citizen academy programs nationwide, this program serves as way to improve the communication between law enforcement and the citizens of Van Buren County.


This program is structured as a combination of lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and field trips. The information covered will include:

  • Central Dispatch, Jail, and Patrol
  • Patrol Procedures
  • Use of Force, Officer Safety, & Patrol Techniques
  • Investigations
  • Crime Scene Investigations and Medical Examiner's Office
  • Legal Issues
  • The Community & Law Enforcement, Volunteers in Policing
  • Special Topics
  • Special Units
  • Drunk Driving Enforcement-Traffic Patrol
  • And Much More!

To be eligible to participate in the Citizen’s Academy, you must:

  • A resident of Van Buren County or,
  • A property owner in Van Buren County or,
  • A business owner in Van Buren County
  • 18 years of age or older

If you have any questions

Contact Van Buren County Sheriff Office Reserve Captain

Rodney Bridgeforth via email: