The New Hanover County Sheriff’s office has 38 new additions. The graduates of the inaugural Citizen’s Academy aren’t Deputies, but they’ve developed a know-how to make the county safer. The class learned what it takes to be proactive, rather than reactive. "The things that I learned that the Sheriff does for the citizens of this county that I never realized before, but I learned in this class. As a result I feel much safer now than I did when I first started this class," said graduate Craven Hughes. The graduates completed 10 weeks of hands-on training before receiving certificates Tuesday night. "I think it went great," says Sheriff’s Department Chief Larry Hines. "In talking with the people who attended the academy and our people who conducted it, everybody says they loved it." Chief Larry Hines coordinated the Citizen’s Academy, with the help of Sheriff Ed McMahon. The Sheriff’s wife Teena even attended the Academy – and passed. Sheriff McMahon says he plans on holding the Academy again in January. If you’re interested in being a part of the next Citizen’s Academy in New Hanover County, visit the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Applicants must pass a background check to qualify.