Great First Night at Citizens’ Academy

By Heather Rosenthal, Sonitrol Pacific Tacoma General Manager
Posted October 17, 2008

Well…last night was my first night at the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department Citizens’ Academy.

I found out that this is the first time they have ever offered this type of program, and they were happy with the turnout. All together there were about 30 of us at this first meeting. We got to meet Sheriff Dan Kimball, along with several other officers on his staff. Our facilitator for the program is Deputy John Snaza and he is very excited about having the opportunity to offer this to the public. Our first night started with an overview of the Sheriff’s office. After that, we all went on a tour of the court offices, courtrooms, staff offices, and then the Thurston County Jail. We were escorted behind the locked doors and got to see all of the areas within the jail. I felt a little like we were in a fishbowl with all of eyes on us as we were walking around, but it was a great experience. I was amazed to find out that the jail was originally built to house less than 100 inmates, and currently there are over 500 – 20% of which are female. This particular jail has areas to house Maximum, Medium and Minimum security inmates, and offers many in-house inmate programs which we will be learning more about as we progress through our time here.

All in all it was a great first night. The program will continue for the next 5 weeks – every Thursday night. I’ll let you know more about my upcoming adventures….