ICSO Citizens Academy graduates pose for a photo with Sheriff Darren Campbell.


The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office celebrated another group of Citizens Academy graduates on Thursday night.

Around 30 participants and their family members came attended the event at the Unity Center in Statesville to celebrate the completion of weeks of educational training provided by ICSO.

The purpose of the academy is to familiarize Iredell County residents with the Sheriff’s Office through education and interactive training. Topics included the history and duties of the sheriff’s office, operating the detention center, familiarizing citizens with the different units, and experiencing training equipment, including live-fire training with specialized weapons.

Sheriff Darren Campbell said he enjoyed meeting and interacting with the latest participants.

“This was a fun group,” he said. “They were very supportive and interested.”

The sheriff stressed that his office wants to build a positive relationship with all citizens.

“One of our biggest goals is to build relationships and to help them understand the capabilities we have to keep everyone safe,” Campbell shared. “It’s tough to recruit good officers right now.”

After completing the Citizens Academy, Mooresville attorney Cameron Bray said he has a new respect for deputies.

“It’s great getting to know law enforcement,” he said. “They have an important and dangerous job. It’s not always pretty in the field. “

Sue Dishman also said she has a new respect for law enforcement. She signed up for the academy because she “wanted to know how the ICSO works.”

“I was excited to learn about them,” she explained. “You see them on TV one way, but you don’t realize what they truly go through. This really brings it to you.”

When asked if she’d like to go into law enforcement, Dishman responded with a laugh.

“Maybe if I was younger I might,” she said.

Mooresville resident Susan Kipp also enjoyed the experience. She had a difficult time selecting a favorite part of the academy.

“Everything stood out,” she said. It was wonderful. Everybody should do this.”

Like Dishman, Kipp felt her window for working in law enforcement had probably passed.

“No, no, I don’t want to go into law enforcement,” she said. “But maybe if they’d just pass me on to a detective.”