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 live in San Diego County, be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and be willing to commit to attend a six-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 cold case homicide to financial elder abuse. Highlights include special access to the Sheriff's Department weapons simulator exercise.


If you are interested in participating, please email the Citizens’ Academy at and request to be put on the Interest List for the spring so we can notify you via email as soon as the application process has begun.

Six-Week Commitment

The academy will meet on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., for a six-week period.

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

For a sneak peek at the program, please take a look at our flyer and schedule .

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
Application Form

Contact Information

Office: 619-531-3531