NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Sheriff's Citizens Academy program is very well received. This is the fifth such academy to give people a chance to view life as a deputy.
Class Monday night at the jail started off with a bang. The program is very active to say the least. After a classroom discussion it was into the jail for a very visual presentation.
The crowd watched a special response jail team take down an inmate. In this case the young man in the jumpsuit was a deputy and part of the special team to handle unruly inmates.
Participants also got to handle weapons used in the jail.
Carol Lendino was impressed.
"I think it's awesome," she said. "It's a way for people who never shot a gun. It gives them an idea what it's like."
Amanda Morgan was glad to get a look at deputy life.
"It’s good to see what these guys do day in and day out," Morgan said.
Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jerry Brewer says all weapons are as safe as possible
"Everything at the detention facility is a non-lethal weapon, therefore once we get past the secure area we use totally non-lethal weapons," he said.
Sheriff Ed McMahon is very happy with the program. He says it has led to people taking the next step.
"We have also started our citizens volunteer group, which we have labeled VIPR, so once they graduate the citizen can help us and volunteer," Sheriff McMahon said.
This was week two in the Citizens Academy. Participants have eight more weeks of training. For information check the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office web site.