Sheriff's Citizen Academy for Youth

What is the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy for Youth?

Youth Citizen Academy

June 27 - July 1
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


The Sheriff’s Citizens Academy for Youth is a weeklong class that provides insight into the operations of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. During this one-week, seven hour per day curriculum, sheriff’s office executives, veteran sheriff deputies and supervisors, and civilians will instruct you on a variety of subjects pertaining to law enforcement. The participants (students) will have the opportunity to meet with Sheriff Diggs and his staff members. The purpose of this academy is to:

  • Increase understanding through education and interaction with members of the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Provide young citizens with the opportunity to learn why deputies “can” and/ or “cannot” do certain things.
  • Increase law enforcement awareness to dispel suspicions and misconceptions, an increase community awareness and build a positive rapport with the community members.
  • Create and develop a growing nucleus of responsible, well-informed youth citizens.
  • Build a lasting and productive partnership between our Sheriff’s Office and the communities that we proudly serve.

How do I apply?


The Sheriff’s Citizens Academy for Youth is intended for youth between the ages of 14 – 19 years of age (high school aged) who wish to learn more about law enforcement in York County. Participation in the academy requires a commitment of one week, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to ask questions, express their ideas and/ or concerns to instructors, as well as actively participate in the program.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office selects Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy for Youth participants based on a first come – first serve process. Each applicant is required to pass a criminal background check conducted by the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.  Applicants are notified by mail of their acceptance into the academy. Class is limited to no more than 15 youth.

Required Forms

What kind of instruction will I receive?


The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy for Youth will consist of classroom instruction to practical exercises and demonstrations to facility tours. The academy class will cover the following training topics:

SCA for Youth Information

Is there a graduation?


Upon the completion of the one-week course, a graduation ceremony is held with the Sheriff and family members of the participating graduates. Students will graduate with an increased knowledge of how crimes are solved, why sheriff deputies do what they do, what the laws are in our state, how the laws apply to young people, and the effects of alcohol and drugs.

Questions / Contacts


Mrs. Shawn Kekoa-Dearhart, Sergeant / Crime Prevention Specialist, York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office Community Services Division, Crime Prevention Unit at (757) 890-3642 or by email.  

Deputy Alan Bartnikowski, (757) 890-3639 or by email.

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