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Jackson County Sheriff’s Office seeking applications for Citizens Academy

By Kristin Fox

Beginning in September, Jackson County will once again be offering a Citizens Academy. In 2017, Jackson County established a Citizens Academy as a way to offer a unique opportunity for county residents to get an in-depth look at the functions of county government. 

Applications are now being accepted for the Citizens Academy slated to begin on the first Thursday of September.

The Citizens Academy will be held for eight weeks beginning on Thursday, September 7, 2023 and ending on Thursday, October 26, 2023. The program consists of interactive sessions facilitated by various local government officials. Most sessions will be held at locations specific to the operations. Sessions will be held once a week for 8 weeks with two sessions the last week of September. Each session will last approximately 3.5 hours (5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) with a meal served at the beginning of each session. 

Throughout the program, participants will get a behind the scenes look at the various departments within county government. The Citizens Academy provides interaction with department heads and elected officials allowing the participants to learn more about their roles throughout the county.

Jackson County Citizens Academy has three goals. The goals of this program are to:

  • Educate – The course will familiarize citizens about the purpose and functions of county government. Citizens will be better informed through first-hand knowledge regarding the structure of county government by meeting the people who oversee the day-to-day operations of county government.
  • Promote – County government looks after the health, safety and welfare of citizens on a daily basis. This course will increase citizens’ awareness of services offered by Jackson County. This new awareness will empower the citizen to share accurate information about county government with friends and neighbors.
  • Engage – Citizens will learn how to take a more active role in county government.

Applications are being accepted at this time. An application should be submitted to the county manager’s office during the recruitment period. Applicants must be 18 years old, be a resident of Jackson County and commit to attend all sessions. The application deadline is Tuesday, August 15, 2023.

Applications are accessible through the Jackson County website ( If you have any questions, please contact Kerri Tucker at (828) 631-2207 or

Those chosen to participate in the 2023 Citizens Academy will be notified by Friday, August 25, 2023.

Citizens Academy Sessions Summary 

Week 1 Thursday, September 7, 2023 – Welcome (What is a County?) Video Presentation; Introduction to County Government; Elections, Administration, Finance, Human Resources.

Week 2 Thursday, September 14, 2023 – Sheriff’s Office Administration; Patrol and Detention

Week 3 Thursday, September 21, 2023 – Southwestern Community College; Jackson County Public Schools; Jackson County Public Library

Week 4 Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – Register of Deeds; Tax Administration; CoOP Extension, Soil and Water

Week 4 Thursday, September 28, 2023 – Economic Development; Tourism Development Authority; Parks and Recreation

Week 5 Thursday, October 5 – Emergency Management; Communications; Fire Marshal, Geographic Information System (GIS)

Week 6 Thursday, October 12 – Human Services Department of Public Health, Permitting and Code Enforcement; Planning Department

Week 7 Thursday, October 19 – Transit Office Complex; Public Works – Solid Waste Management and Green Energy Park

Week 8 Thursday, October 26, 2023 – Department of Social Services; Veterans Services; Department of Aging

Graduation from the Citizens Academy will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2023.

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