Citizens' Academy Overview

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, is once again offering its popular Citizens’ Academy, a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system.

Although the program is offered at no cost, applicants must pass a background check and be willing to commit to attend a ten-week curriculum on one evening each week.

Participants who are selected from this competitive application process will have the unique opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts in local law enforcement. A diverse program of topics ranges from high-profile homicides to gang prosecutions. Highlights include special access to the Sheriff’s Department weapons simulator exercise.


Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2017 Citizens’ Academy.

Please send the completed application by Monday, August 7, 2017.

You can email, fax or mail your application.
• Email
• Fax 619-237-1351
• Mail Attention: Citizens’ Academy, 330 W. Broadway, Ste. 1300, San Diego, CA 92101

Due to the presentation of sensitive materials, prospective students must be 18 years or older and undergo a background check before being accepted to the academy.

Ten-Week Commitment

The academy will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., starting September 7, 2017 through November 9, 2017.

This well-received program now has far more applicants than we can accommodate. Committed and regular attendance is imperative.

The academy will be held at the County Operations Center in the Conference Center Hearing Room located at 5520 Overland Ave., San Diego, CA 92123.

New Location

The academy will be held at the County of San Diego Operations Center in Kearny Mesa. The class will be in the Conference Center Hearing Room.

The address is 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123.

Please reference our flyer for dates*.

Praise from those who attended previous Citizens’ Academies remains strong and continues to grow. Here’s what a few of them wrote:

“If you want to learn more about how the District Attorney’s Office – and all branches of government – works in San Diego County, take this class. The Citizens’ Academy is a great way to learn how your government works and how your tax dollars are spent.” Paul Krueger, Senior Producer, NBC 7 San Diego

“No matter your professional background, the Citizens’ Academy is interesting, relevant, and informative. A wonderful program that showcases the professionalism, collaboration, and expertise of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office.” Sarah, Program Coordinator at a local non-profit

“What an eye-opening experience! We have so much to be thankful for with regard to our local county law enforcement, District Attorneys, and all judicial staff. People don’t realize how much work is being done behind the scenes to help keep our community safe! Thank you so much!” Troy Ohlsson, Planner at Diazyme Laboratories.

“Through the Citizens’ Academy I learned what it takes for law enforcement to protect this city. I have so much admiration for them and the decisions they face. These ten weeks have been eye-opening, compassionate, and rewarding. Thank you to all for a comprehensive program.” Kim Kent, Project Team Specialist at DLA Piper, LLP.


Class Schedule

Contact Information

Office: 619-531-3531