Citizen’s Academy

Interactive, Insightful and Eye-Opening


“After going through this course I now see that law enforcement are not just robots walking around with a gun and a badge. They are meaningful members of the Santa Barbara community as a whole.”  Ken Partch, Citizen’s Academy Graduate, November 2016

What an insightful program. I appreciated being with like-minded individuals who care enough to invest their time to learn more about what our public safety officers do.  I have gained a better understanding of what it’s like behind the badge through the lectures, hands-on experience and tour of the jail.  I have a higher level respect for the men and women who are in law enforcement. This is a valuable program for all citizens and I highly recommend it.” Carol Sauceda, Citizen’s Academy Graduate, May 2017

New Citizen’s Academy starting March 6th! Fill this form out HERE and email to

The average person views law enforcement personnel in a singular role, such as issuing traffic tickets or arresting criminals, and much of that view is derived from unverified sources such as Hollywood movies. Relatively speaking, few have been exposed to the training required to become a law enforcement officer or a custody deputy. Few know what the duty actually entails, how varied it is, or how much dedication and commitment goes into performing the job at the level of professionalism upheld by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy is a great way for the public to get an exclusive, inside look at what the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office does on a daily basis to protect and serve its citizens.  The Citizen’s Academy is free and consists of a curriculum of 5 to 8 weeks in length, meeting one night per week, 3 hours each session. The sessions will include lecture and hands-on law enforcement training.  The Academy is scheduled to involve Arrest and Control, Firearms, Active Shooter Response, Building Searches, a tour of the Main Jail, as well as presentations by the agency’s K9 Unit, and much more.  There is also a presentation by Sheriff Bill Brown on the history and the organization of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office,

The Academies are held in both North and South County. The last several years we have teamed up with UCSB, UCSB Police and the City of Goleta to do a Citizen’s Academy just for Isla Vista Residents and Santa Barbara County College Students. We are also teaming up with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. One of the best aspects of the Citizen’s Academy is that it brings together participants of different ages with different backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives.

Citizen’s Academy classes are held at different locations throughout the county. Participants are required to attend all training sessions. The academy culminates with a graduation ceremony and barbecue on the weekend following the completion of the weekly classes.

Exact dates for Citizen’s Academies are announced before they are held via the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office’s website, social media and Nixle alerts.

If you have any additional questions or would like to express interest in signing up for the next Citizen’s Academy, please contact us at

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