Citizen’s academy showcases law enforcement tools and dangers


Pictured above: Detective Patrick Dixon demonstrates the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office drone for participants Tuesday night – WSIC Photo

STATESVILLE, NC (WSIC) – The newest class of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office citizen’s academy graduates Thursday night.

The program gives people a look at the tools of the trade for law enforcement and the dangers that create their need.

“I think their eyes are really opened that we have that capability on a local level and we’re able to bring that down and help make them safer,” says Sheriff Darren Campbell.

“Just makes you realize how much more you respect these guys’ jobs and what they’re up against,” says David Templeton who took the class with his wife Gray and more than twenty others.

“You actually see what they’re up against.  Unbelievable what they have to put up with everyday and you can’t relax in that job.”

Gray Templeton says having someone they care about in jail sparked their interest.

“We were talking about what it must be like to work in there day after day after day and see the same faces day after day and he heard about this citizens academy and signed us up for it.”

Yonel Galarza says he’s seen the other side of the law through family and friends and that taking part in the citizen’s academy gave him a new perspective.

“The majority of them are actually the heroes of the light which is something great. I believe this class actually helped me pertain that and come to that mindset that they are here for us.”

The group learned about drugs, traffic stops, SWAT situations, and the use of force.

“It was very good. You had to make some quick decisions in a hurry,” says Thomas Wheeler. “Do I, do I not pull the trigger? … It kind of gives you some idea as to what our officers out here on the road have to face everyday.”

Michael Sos calls the academy “an eye-opening experience on how quickly things can go bad even when you do everything right.”

The Sheriff’s Office is planning it’s next citizen’s academy in October.

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