Skip to content

Breaking Blue: Changing the game to improve public safety

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy welcomes new participants into the September 2022 program on September 20.

Sitting at a small desk in a classroom alongside 27 complete strangers on the first day of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Citizens Academy, I find myself unsure what to expect from the next 30 days.

I applied for the opportunity to participate in this “behind the scenes” look at the many aspects of the DCSO, in part because my editor thought it would make for an interesting segment in The Connection and in part because I have always had an interest in law enforcement.

From a very young age, I closely followed current events and politics and was fascinated by law.  As an immigrant from Thailand, I was taught that to make a difference or make an impact, you need to become an agent of change or get involved.  As a young adult, I pursued a degree in political science and justice studies.  While my professional endeavors have taken me down a different career path, I remain intrigued by law.

Our instructor, Deputy Brian McKnight, makes introductions and explains that the Citizens Academy program is designed to connect residents and law enforcement officers to create public awareness on the duties, responsibilities and services of the DCSO.  The curriculum is built upon the principles of community-oriented policing, partnerships and problem solving, and that every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (and one Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for the next month, we will be exploring these concepts together. 

I want to raise my hand and ask, “When do we get to hang with the SWAT team and drive the patrol car and practice self-defense techniques and learn about the K-9s and go to the shooting range …” the list goes on, but I sit patiently and curiously, awaiting each new adventure as I will until our graduation ceremony.

I hope you will join me as I recount my experiences over the next few months in this new segment, Breaking Blue: Changing the Game to Improve Public Safety. 

Article and photos by ViVi Somphon




Recent Stories