St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy graduation ceremony

Capt. Ronnie Martin, assistant commander of the Special Investigations Division and the SWAT team, speaks to members of the 2017 Citizens Police Academy about the SWAT team's role at the Sheriff's Office. Citizens Police Academy graduation is October 26th.

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office would like to request your presence as the 19th session of its Citizens Police Academy comes to a close Thursday, Oct. 26 with a graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Nunez Community College Auditorium in Chalmette. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann will address the 26 graduates, and James B. Arey, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Center director and commander of the SWAT Negotiation Team, will be the keynote speaker.

Arey, a licensed professional counselor, holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and human systems from Florida State University, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Delaware, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tulane University.

Arey is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University where he teaches forensic psychology and crisis intervention. He is a retired commander of the New Orleans Police Department, and also served as a captain in the United States Army.

The Citizens Police Academy is 10-week, free program designed to provide residents with the opportunity to learn more about what the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office do on a day-to-day basis to keep their community safe.

This year’s program, which kicked off Aug. 23, afforded a few dozen residents with an inside look at the multiple aspects of police work. During the course of the program, participants heard from veteran representatives of each division of the Sheriff’s Office who spoke on various phases of law enforcement, including patrol work, narcotics enforcement, detective duties, and SWAT team demonstrations. They also visited the Parish Courthouse and Parish Prison.

“This course gives great insight on how and why things are handled in a certain manner,” Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The annual course is coordinated by Capt. Charles Borchers and Sgt. Eric Eilers. For more information, call Capt. Borchers at (504) 278-7628 or Sgt. Eilers at (504) 278-7799.