Richland County Sheriff's Department Citizen Police Academy

"Providing the community with an inside look at law enforcement."

The mission of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Citizen Police Academy Program is to educate and inform the community; to provide a forum for police - community interaction; to identify community problems, needs and concerns; and to foster a partnership with the community that will solve problems and work toward creating a safer environment.

Graduating Class Spring 2019

The Citizen Police Academy is a fourteen-week program designed to give citizens an overview of our Department's structure, services and personnel. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to the traditional law enforcement academy, but weekly sessions are not designed to make the participant a police officer. Each week you will have a qualified instructor to explain how each division of the Richland County Sheriff's Department operates including:

  • Uniform Patrol Division
  • Investigations
  • Narcotics Enforcement
  • Gang Unit
  • Special Response Team
  • Physical Evidence/Crime Lab
  • Canine Unit
  • School Resource Officers
  • Professional Standards
  • Youth Crimes
  • Victim's Assistance
  • Training Division
  • Aviation
  • Youth Arbitration
  • Crossfit/Physical Fitness
  • Reserve Deputy Program
  • Dive Unit/Marine Patrol


All designed to make you knowledgeable about Richland County Sheriff’s Department, what law enforcement does and help you be a liaison or ambassador of Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

This is your opportunity to receive some of the training that a recruit receives while attending the police academy, and will also better qualify you for the efforts you are giving to your community.

During the program duration, classes are held on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. The final session is a ride-along with on-duty deputies.

Participant Requirements:

  • No misdemeanor arrests within 1 year of application
  • No felony convictions
  • must be 18 or older

If you are interested in participating in the RCSD Citizens' Academy, please complete an application.

What Graduates are saying about Citizens' Academy:

“I wanted to say that you made the class fun & it was a great learning experience. After the program I have a whole new respect for our men and women in uniform. I appreciate everything you do!”    - M. Williams

“Thank you so much for all you and the rest of the individuals at R.C.S.D. have done to make our Citizen's Academy class such a success.   My classmates and I really appreciated the effort and hard work the sheriff and the deputies put into giving us an awareness of what takes place in our community and what we as citizens can do to assist our sheriff's department and our neighbors to combat crime to all live in a safer environment.  Awareness is the key, but also having a better understanding of what all our sheriff department does on a daily basis to take care of us all is also a factor.  Thank you all for being there for Richland County and the surrounding area.  I am proud to be a citizen of Richland County and this is one of the reasons why....our sheriff's department is the BEST!!!”   - R. Osborne

“The whole Citizens' Academy was a wonderful experience!  I am so glad to have been allowed to participate!  It was a well done and well organized class.”    - B. Testor

“I wanted to let you know that I’ve really enjoyed the class, it’s been very informative”   - V. Talbot

“We are truly enjoying this class......... I have volunteered for Region 2 since 2001...... and I always said I wanted to take this class but never had the time, so I finally bit the bullet and said "what the heck" take the time, and I'm so glad that I did....... my husband is in same boat.........You guys ROCK!”   - G. Wright


5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax

Copyright © 2006-11 Richland County Sheriff's Department