Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioMore regular, everyday people are getting a glimpse of how police officers and sheriffs deputies do their jobs. The Salt Lake County Citizen's Academy is just as popular as ever.
Meet Stacee. First rule: you don't mess with Stacee. Here's what she's done in the past few weeks: "We were tasered twice, we got to shoot some automatic weapons [and] we went to the jail."
Stacee Adams seems like a hardened criminal. Actually, that was just part of the training offered by the Citizen's Academy from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Actually, they get trained on firearms, non-lethal weapons, domestic violence, SWAT and Special Operations, and they even make a visit to the jail.
"You went to the jail last week, correct?" I asked Stacee.
"Yes," she answered.
"Was it weird to go back?" I asked.
"It wasn't weird… oh, nice," she laughed. "Don't tell my boss."
She volunteered to be tasered, twice. The last time, she was part of what is called a "daisy chain," where 15 people hold hands. The taser prongs are put on the people on the ends, and then they fire it up, full blast.
"It does not diminish the intensity whatsoever, and instead of just between the two prongs, it goes through your entire body," Stacee explained.
"You actually volunteered for the daisy chain after you had been tasered the first time?" I asked her.
"Yes," Stacee admitted.
"What is wrong with you?" I asked.
Today the class is learning about major accidents and DUI cases, complete with simulated crashes and a special tool that affects your vision and balance.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Arlan Bennett said, "We've got beer goggles they can try on."
Bennett let me try them on, and trust me, they're effective. I was stumbling like Britney Spears at the VMA's.
"This sounds like the premise of that movie ‘Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol,'" I said.
"Not even close," Bennett told me.
"So after the class is done, they're not issued a firearm?" I asked.
"They don't get a taser?" I asked.
"Some pepper spray?" I added.
Bennett says the program is designed to help inform the public of the services the sheriff's office provides.
"The best thing any citizen can do is a partnership with their local sheriffs or police agency in itself to better serve their community," Bennett said.
The classes are free but they are limited to a couple dozen people per class. The 10-week session in progress now is about full, but they're taking names for the next 10-week program.