Douglas County Sheriff’s Office presents graduates of the Senior Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy |

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office presents graduates of the Senior Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy

by Rachel Spacek

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and Douglas County TRIAD presented this year's graduates from the Senior Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy.

The 22 students who attended the academy were taught about what the sheriff's department, fire department and other response teams do in the community. Students are provided with what to expect from response teams and general law enforcement education.

Sheriff Ron Pierini said his goal is to have senior citizens in the community become more comfortable with law enforcement and more aware of law enforcement services.

"It has been a real plus thing for people who attend," said Pierini. "It gives them an idea of what we do and what we can do for them if they need help."

Pierini said the Sheriff's Office spends a lot of time helping seniors who get taken advantage of from people who try to call or send mail to try to get money from them. He said he doesn't want seniors to be uncomfortable calling law enforcement to ask for help.

Pierini said the program has created a better relationship between seniors and law enforcement. He also said the fire department and paramedics teach the seniors about what happens in the case of a fire or flood and how to prepare.

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The academy has been held once a year for almost 20 years for people ages 50 and up.

Pierini also said after the academy is over they ask participants if they want to join the 240 volunteers for the sheriff's office. This gives them the opportunity to get out of their homes, meet new people and get out to make a difference in their community.

In addition to the academy, the sheriff's office also holds a dinner and program around Christmas time to educate seniors on new issues facing the community. This year Pierini said they will have a speaker address the opioid and prescription drug crisis. He said he expects around 150 to 200 seniors will attend the dinner.

The next academy will be schedule in Sept. 2018.