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Local agencies host Junior Deputy Academy

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Clanton Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies to put on a Junior Deputy Academy for children ages 9-15 June 10-14.

The event lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day and took place in a few different venues, most notably the Conference & Performing Arts Center at Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton Campus and the Chilton County Courthouse.

Sheriff John Shearon, Clanton Police Chief Keith Maddox and Assistant Chief Keith Crosby from Maplesville Police Department spoke to the attendees to kick off the event on June 10.

Dan Wright, the executive director of Chilton County E-911, spoke to the kids about

“how 911 works, their role in the emergency response system and the future of 911,” according to a social media post by CCSO.

The class toured a sheriff’s patrol vehicle and respond to a burglary scenario after learning about the patrol division.

Investigator Steve Brock ran the class through some physical exercises before attendees were presented with a mock crime scene on the second day.

“Chief Investigator Shane Mayfield spoke about the many roles and responsibilities that an investigator has within the Sheriff’s Office,” according to the post. “The class then broke off into groups to process the mock crime scenes with Investigators Jennifer Bland and Rodney Hurst, and Lieutenant Lee Faulkner.”

“The class then had the privilege to hear from Clanton Police Department’s Narcotic Sergeant Dewayne Bone. The class worked as a team and performed a mock narcotics undercover operation and captured the offenders buying and selling narcotic drugs.”

CCSO and CPD K-9 units Esby, Aries and Shep gave a demonstration of narcotics tracking and detection.

Executive director Jana Zuelzske, family advocate Tracey Johnson and outreach advocate Brittani Ellison of Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center in Clanton spoke to the class on the third day.

“The class learned about what Butterfly Bridge CAC does and how they work with the local law enforcement partners to keep kids safe,” according to a post.

“The class then had special visitors from ALEA’s Aviation Division. The class was able to hear from the Tactical Flight Officer Joey Hamilton and Pilot Dave Williams and tour their helicopter.”

School safety coordinator Mickey Hardwick of the Chilton County Board of Education also spoke to the class about school safety.

The CCSO Special Operations (SWAT) team spoke to the class, displayed some of its equipment and held a mock breaching of a building.

The fourth day began with physical tests similar to those administered at an actual deputy academy.

“The class was visited by Evidence Technician/ Deputy Jamie Johnson,” according to a post. “The class learned how to process the evidence they retrieved from the mock crime scenes and the importance evidence plays in an a criminal case.”

The class toured Chilton County Jail with Warden Trae Barfield before visiting the courthouse.

The final day of the junior academy heard from “Deputy Johnny Beulter on courthouse security, Juvenile Probation Office Shannon Wright, Probate Judge Jason Calhoun, Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson, Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds and District Judge Chris Speaks,” according to the post.

The class sat in on a mock trial that was meant to “bring justice to the offenders we had in our mock crime throughout the week.”

“We want to thank everyone that came to the Junior Deputy Academy, and a big thank you to all of our sponsors that made this week possible!” CCSO said in a post.