Image: Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Graduating Class, 2017.1, June 8, 2017, at the Gymnasium of the Clint Peoples Training Academy, Conroe. Deputy Sheriff Steve Squier, Lead Instructor, is in the center back in uniform.
Conroe, June 15 – The first Citizens Academy under Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson graduated during a special ceremony at the Clint Peoples Training Academy in Conroe last Thursday, June 8, 2017. Thirty-three (33) students finished the program which Deputy Sheriff and Crime Stoppers Director Steve Squier led with assistance from Lieutenant Scott Spencer who also serves as the Spokesman for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
The curriculum for the 13-unit course, which began March 23 and ended on June 8, was amazing. Highlights of the class were use of the Sheriff’s Office Interactive Simulator, patrol and traffic stop scenarios, family violence scenarios, a field trip to the Jail, a field trip to the Dispatch/Communications Division of the Sheriff’s Office, and the K-9 demonstration. During the K-9 demonstration, Deputy Squier, wearing a special protective outfit, was the “perp” that the canine “officer” chased and brought down to the ground on command.
If a student enjoys action, he or she will love the scenarios during the one full day Saturday class and the Interactive Simulator where simulations confront students with the necessity to make split-second decisions concerning the use of force and response to resistance. For the more cerebral students, Specialist David Borchardt’s energetic discussion on the use of force is an amazing synthesis of use of weapons, psychology, sociology, and law. Borchardt is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he came to a profound understanding of the manner in which people react to emergency stimulus.
The class included:
- Getting to meet Sheriff Rand Henderson, Chief Deputy Ken Culbreath, Jail Administrator and Captain Oliver Coward, the ever popular Captains Kevin Ray (better known as “K-Ray”) who oversees the East Patrol Division and Bryan Carlisle who oversees the Executive Division and Internal Affairs.
- A tour of the Jail including the new Veterans Pod and a detailed explanation of the intake methodology.
- An introduction of some of the Sheriff’s Office special units, including the Special Investigations Unit, MoCoNET (a multi-agency drug task force), the Gang Unit, and Crime Stoppers.
- A great lecture on SWAT and negotiations and a hand-on tour of the equipment and vehicles those units utilize.
- A disturbing lecture on active shooter situations that every citizen living in the crazed 21st century should hear.
- A discussion of forensic evidence and crime scenes.
- An introduction to the personnel and methods of the Major Crimes unit of the Sheriff’s Office.
- And much more.
There’s no question that the highlight of the class was getting to enjoy the quick wit and great humor of Deputy Squier. He kept the class entertaining and moving at a fast pace for the entire 13 weeks of the program. Squier also took great care to make all of the students feel safe, secure, and welcome at all times.
Governor Greg Abbott appointed Squier to the five-member Texas Crime Stoppers Council on September 1, 2016, in recognition of the great work Squier has done in Montgomery County and surrounding counties for the Crime Stoppers program.
The main thing which a student learns from the Citizen Academy curriculum is a respect for the immense degree of specialized and extensive training the peace officers in the Sheriff’s Office receive before they ever go out on patrol or other service.
The Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy is taking applications through the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office website for its second 2017 class which will begin in late August, 2017. The class fills quickly, so if you’re interested, you should not delay your application. You’ll be happy you got involved in the program.