Citizen’s Academy set

Published 11:14 pm Friday, September 27, 2013

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is accepting applications through Nov. 1 for its second Citizen’s Academy.

The 10-session class for adults will take place Nov. 7 through Dec. 12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with the exception of Thanksgiving Day. Participants will hear from Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson and many of his employees about the workings of the office and will also get overviews from the other four constitutional officers — the commissioner of the revenue, treasurer, clerk of court and sheriff — about their offices.

“Every session is a new piece of the whole puzzle,” Ferguson said. “It’s a part of what we are trying to do to inform and educate the citizens about what goes on in this office.”

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The first such academy was held last year. Ferguson hoped for 30 attendees, and 45 signed up.

“The people that came last year without question felt they had learned a lot,” Ferguson said.

Joan Turner, community outreach coordinator for the office, said she has a personal goal of getting 60 people involved in this year’s program.

“We want to try to accommodate as many as want to come,” Ferguson said. “I think it’s important those of us who serve in government do everything we can to reach out to the citizens. Sometimes citizens feel estranged from government generally. I firmly believe the more informed and educated a citizenry is, the better citizens they become.”

All the employees who are participating are volunteering their time, “over and above what we are required to do in our day-to-day operations,” Ferguson said.

The program is free to attend but requires applying beforehand and passing a criminal background check. To obtain an application, call Turner at 514-4379 or visit