Sign up for Citizens Academy

Published 10:17 pm Friday, January 10, 2020

You have a little more than a month to register for one of the most important things the government will ever give you at no charge.

Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson will host the eighth annual Citizens Academy later this winter. It will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Feb. 27 to March 26, and the application deadline is Feb. 19.

The course is open to Suffolk adults, and those who take it will have their eyes opened to the mission, policies and operations of their local prosecutor’s office. They’ll also get a glimpse into the four other constitutional offices: the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Commissioner of the Revenue, Sheriff’s Office and Treasurer’s Office.


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Ferguson believes a public that is better educated about how its local government works will be better equipped to handle situations that come their way. For example, they will know more about various crimes and how they can prevent becoming a victim. As Ferguson rightly points out, that’s ever more important these days.

Growing issues like domestic violence and cases involving juveniles will be especially discussed during the course. The academy also opens up lines of communication between officials and citizens, who will be more likely to reach out with questions or concerns — or encourage family, friends and neighbors to do so — if they’ve already met these officials.

The eighth annual Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Citizens Academy will begin on Feb. 27 and end on March 26 with a graduation and reception. The program will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the jury room on the third floor of the Godwin Courts Building, 150 N. Main St.

All adults who are interested in attending this free class must apply for admission, and applications must be turned in before Feb. 19.

Applications are available online on the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s webpage at For more information, contact Community Outreach Coordinator Joan Turner at 514-4379.