Academy to return this fall

Published 10:19 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney is bringing his citizens’ academy program back for its fourth edition this fall.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 24 to Oct. 29, participants will learn about the work done by the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson, as well as the functions of the other four constitutional offices — sheriff, clerk of the court, commissioner of the revenue and treasurer.

“They not only learn details about our office, but a great deal about the other offices as well,” Ferguson said. “The more people know and understand the reality of what’s going on, the better citizens they make.”

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Ferguson said all the employees who speak at the citizens’ academy do so on a volunteer basis.

Participants this year will hear about the office administration and community outreach, victim and witness services, domestic violence, juvenile and domestic relations, violent crimes, and the office’s chief investigator.

While domestic violence has been covered generally before, Ferguson said it’s been added as a topic because of the volume of domestic violence cases his office is handling.

A number of citizens already are signed up, but spots are still available. Some of the earlybirds have taken the course in past years, Ferguson said.

“Sometimes when they come back the second time, they pick up things they may have missed,” he said.

An application can be downloaded from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s website,, and more information can be obtained by calling Community Outreach Coordinator Joan Turner at 514-4379.

The academy will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from Sept. 24 to Oct. 29, with the exception of Oct. 8.

“Anything we can do to bring the community into contact with its points of government is helpful,” Ferguson said. “It allows for dialogue and interaction, and it’s a very healthy thing when that can occur.”