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

Applications are now being accepted for the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office 2018 Citizens Police Academy.

The 20th annual Citizens Police Academy, which runs for 11 weeks, will begin Wednesday January 17th, 2018. The goal of the Citizens Police Academy is to promote a positive relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and local agencies with the communities they serve. Academy instructors will foster a clearer understanding of a police officer’s duties, how the officer carries out those duties, the results of the officer’ actions, as well as other functions in the judicial system. Courses are designed to give community members a look into the work of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, and the field of Local Law Enforcement Agency’s in general.      

“I feel this is a very valuable experience we can give to the citizens. In today’s world, it is very important to be transparent and allow the public to look at the world of Law Enforcement from behind the scenes.” Said Sheriff Daniel Abbott.      

A divers selection of course topics will be covered in the 11-week academy. Instructors describe their position functions and will be available to field questions from those instructions. Some courses involve demonstrations and exercises, where participation is voluntary. The academy will be held Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. in the lower level of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, located at 205 S. Kalamazoo ST. Paw Paw MI 49079.

Week One: Introduction to Corrections / Jail & Central Dispatch - January 17, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Corrections / Jail: 6pm - 7:30pm, Lieutenant Manny DeLaRosa / Designee

·       911 Dispatch: 7:30pm - 9pm, Director Tim McGee / Deputy Director Mike Hostetler

Week Two: Patrol Procedures - January 24, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Police K9 Unit: 6pm - 7:30pm, K9 Deputy Jason Stasienko

·       Vehicle Crash Investigation: 7:30pm - 9pm, Deputy Kyle Romeo

Week Three: Use of Force & Officer Safety & Patrol Techniques - January 31, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Use of Force & Officer Safety: 6pm - 8pm, K9 Deputy Eric Calhoun or Deputy Phil Scuiletti

·       Patrol Techniques: 8pm - 9pm, Deputy Paul Graham

Week Four: Investigation - February 7, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Emergency Response SWAT: 6pm - 8pm, Chief Jay Allen or Lieutenant Jim Charon or Sergeant Casey Davis

·       Narcotic Investigations: 8pm - 9pm, Lieutenant Mark McCulfor or Sergeant Mick Masterson

Week Five: Crime Scene Investigations & Medical Examiner’s Office - February 14, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Crime Scene Investigations: 6pm - 8pm, Lieutenant Tom Macyauski or Sergeant Dave Walker

·       Medical Examiner’s Office: 8pm - 9pm, Jo Catania / Designee

Week Six: Legal Issues - February 21, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Prosecutor’s Office: 6pm - 7pm, Prosecutor Michael Bedford / Jay Blair

·       Parole / Probation: 7pm - 8pm, Parole Agent Ann Marie Schaefer / Designee

Week Seven: The Community & Law Enforcement, Volunteers in Policing - February 28, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Victim’s Services (VSU): 6pm - 6:30pm, Deanna Polomcak / Designee

·       Mounted Division: 6:30pm - 7pm, Captain Raven Reed / Designee

·       Reserve Division: 7pm - 7:30pm, Captain Rodney Bridgeforth / Designee

·       Neighborhood Watch: 7:30pm - 8pm, Captain Rodney Bridgeforth / Designee

Week Eight: Special Topics - March 7, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Federal Law Enforcement: 6pm - 7pm, FBI Special Agent Jeff Brown / Designee

·       Office of Community Corrections: 7pm - 8pm, Sergeant Virg Franks

·       Office of Domestic Preparedness: 8pm - 9pm, Lieutenant Bob Kirk / Designee

Week Nine: Special Units - March 14, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Elder Abuse: 6pm - 7pm, Detective Sharon VanDam

·       Marine Patrol: 7pm - 8pm, Marine Sergeant Nate Penning / Designee

·       Dive Team / Underwater Recovery Unit: 8pm - 9pm, Deputy Ben Ludwig

Week Ten: Drunk Driving Enforcement / DRE / Traffic Patrol - March 21, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Drink Driving / Distracted Driving Simulator - Golf Cart

·       DRE, Deputy Brian Matthews

·       6pm - 9pm, Deputy Brian Matthews (Dress Accordingly, Class Outside Majority of Class Time)

Week Eleven: Ceremonial - March 28, 2018 (Wednesday)

·       Honor Guard Unit: 6pm - 7pm, Deputy Kyle Romeo / Designee

·       Citizen’s Police Academy Graduation

To apply for the 2018 VBC Citizens Police Academy


Citizens Police Academy Program Coordinator Undersheriff Chad Hunt

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office

205 South Kalamazoo Street

Paw Paw, MI 49079