An Accredited Florida Law Enforcement Agency

Citizens Law Enforcement Academy

The concept of the Civilian Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) was developed in 1977 in England by the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, In the U.S.  The Orlando Police Department held the first CPA in 1982. Today, there are thousands of CPA’s throughout the world.

The ultimate goal of a CLEA is to reduce crime through a strong partnership between the citizens and their local law enforcement agency. The concept is an extension of the goal of Community Policing.

The general objectives of our Civilian Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) are to:

  • Foster cooperation between law enforcement and CLEA students.
  • Dispel misconceptions of how the Sheriff’s Office operates by explaining our procedures and why the agency functions the way it does.
  • Create “community ambassadors” who will take information from the CLEA and spread positive information to their neighbors.

The graduates of the CLEA will gain familiarity with the daily operations of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.  Additionally, they will have gained a greater understanding of problems faced by deputies.  The knowledge gained by the graduates can be shared with the community and neighbors.

The program goals are to reduce crime through a deeper support and confidence in the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office. This added support and confidence will assist in a commitment by the community to report crimes, suspicious activities and maintain involvement in neighborhood groups.

The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office host a Citizens Law Enforcement Academy class semiannually.  The academy courses are designed to give participants an overview of the duties and responsibilities of The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the criminal justice system and issues relating to law enforcement. A series of 14 classes will explore topics from training, communications/911, patrol functions, jail/corrections, court services, volunteer programs, and other departments of the NCSO.

With the newly acquired knowledge graduates are encouraged to join one of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Programs.  Becoming a volunteer provides an opportunity for continued education in the field of law enforcement and enables you to serve your community on a more professional basis.

Eligibility requirements for the Civilian Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) you must:

  • Reside in or be employed in Nassau County
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have no felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions in the last 3 years.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license or other form of government ID.

Anyone interested in becoming an informed member of the community is encouraged to participate in this worthwhile program should contact the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Human Resources Department for more information.


Q. What is the purpose of conducting a Citizens Law Enforcement Academy?

A. To give the public information on how the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office operates.

The overall focus of the program is to provide a better understanding of the policies and procedures of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the judicial system.

Q. What was the Sheriff’s Office incentive for starting a Citizens Academy?

A. Sheriff Leeper would like to engage the community, with an interest in their sheriff’s office, enabling the ability to build a partnership while educating both the agency and public as to their common needs.  Law Enforcement is a unique field, and that field is often misunderstood by both its supporters and its critics.

Sheriff Leeper is committed to providing citizens with accurate information about agency operations and Law Enforcement in general. Our Citizens Academy is one of the means by which we provide that information.

Q. How do I apply?

A. The easiest way is to complete the online application. You may also pick up an application at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at 77151 Citizens Circle, Yulee.  The contact person is Larry Boatwright at 548-4027 or

Due to availability of space each class is limited to 20 people; so apply early.

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

Q. What is the curriculum of the Citizens Academy?

A. Many topics are covered throughout the academy including: communications/dispatch, patrol functions, civil process/warrants, investigations, 911 mapping, detention, courts, community service programs, etc…

Q. Is there a commitment after completing the Citizens Academy?

A. No. While it is our hope that participants will continue their association with the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, there is absolutely no obligation upon completion of the program.

Q. What if I can’t attend every class?

A. We understand that those who attend the program are people with busy schedules.  Each participant is allowed to miss two classes; this attendance policy helps to ensure that each participant gets the most benefit from the Academy.

Q. Do I have to be in good physical shape?

A. There are no physical or athletic requirements. Your level of participation is up to you at all times.

Q. Where are the classes held?

A. The Academy meets weekly on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p. m. until 9:00 p. m. at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, located at 77151 Citizens Circle in Yulee.

B. Two Optional Saturdays will be set for additional classes; CPR class, Firearms safety class, SWAT, K-9 demonstration, mobile crime lab, marine patrol, etc.

There are also opportunities for you to Ride-A-Long with a deputy during the deputy’s regular shift and a Community Volunteer.

Q. Is there any homework or minimum Grades?

A. No, there are no tests or homework.

Q. How much does it cost?

A.  The Academy is FREE

Q. Is there a commitment after the Citizens Academy?

A. While it is our hope that citizens that graduate will continue their association with the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, there is absolutely no obligation upon completion of the academy.

Q. Is there an opportunity after completing the Academy for me to become a volunteer?

A. YES, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office has a number of Volunteer Programs which you may be interested in getting involved.

There is an Alumni Association associated to the Civilian Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) of which you are encouraged to continue your affiliation.  The association will coordinate and participate in future Civilian Law Enforcement Academy.

Citizens LE Academy App