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Citizen law enforcement academy

The Citizen Law Enforcement Academy is a program of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Community Outreach Division. This program gives citizens an insight into law enforcement and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the largest sheriff’s office in the state of Minnesota.

This program is offered free of charge and is held in the spring and fall. It runs for seven weeks and includes a combination of lecture, question and answer, demonstration, participation, and tours.

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This program welcomes:

  • Business leaders
  • Political leaders
  • Teachers
  • Community leaders
  • Those  who work with law enforcement
  • Anyone who wants to understand how the criminal justice system works

Applicants must be at least 18 years old.  Due to the nature of the material presented, all applicants will be screened for criminal backgrounds.

Subjects covered

  • Sheriff’s office overview
  • Jail procedure
  • Court procedures
  • DWI enforcement
  • Communications/911 dispatch center
  • Narcotics operations
  • Criminal investigation
  • Patrol operations
  • K-9 operations
  • Forensic Science Laboratory operations
  • Use of force
  • Tactical team operations
  • Firearms and live shoot
  • Homeland security/special operations


  • Classes are held from 6:30 to 9:45 p.m., one night a week for seven weeks.
  • Locations vary and will include Sheriff’s 911 dispatch division in Plymouth, Public Safety Facility in Minneapolis, the sheriff’s patrol headquarters in Brooklyn Park and the Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park.

Other information

  • A certificate of completion will be awarded at a graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the class.
  • No law enforcement continuing education (POST) credits are awarded for this course.

All sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Acceptance to the program is contingent on passing a criminal background check.

Fill out an application (PDF) and return it to Deputy Joel Svenby at the address shown on the application.

If you have any questions regarding the academy, please contact Deputy Svenby at or 612-348-2420.

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