MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
From the S.W.A.T team to the bomb squad, Marathon County Sheriff's officers are trying to let people know what these special teams are all about.
Thanks to Hollywood they have a lot of myths to debunk.
"Unlike on TV, we don't wait until there's three seconds on a timer and run up and cut the wire," said Det. Jim Armstrong, Marathon-Oneida County Bomb Squad operations commander.
They also hear a lot of curious questions.
"One thing they won't tell us is how far does the radar gun reach," said Wendy Armstrong, who is attending the course.
"Everyone wants to know how fast you can go before you get a ticket and that's one of those things we don't discuss with the public," said Det. Armstrong.
Officers are using the first Marathon County Sheriff's Department Citizens Law Enforcement Academy to clear some of these things up.
"Park of our mission is trust building," said Lt. Frank Hanousek, the Citizens Academy coordinator. "With this we're showing the citizens kind of how we do things and why we do certain things so that they understand we need them to help us solve crimes."
After an application and background check, these 14 students meet each week to learn about different departments. This week, they focused on the bomb squad and S.W.A.T. team.
"We have a team of highly trained individuals. They take what they do very seriously. But it's by no means what they depict on television," said Det. Armstrong.
That's something these students now understand.
"I'm hoping what we're learning we're able to share with our friends and family and other people that we work with so everybody can kind of get a better appreciation of the day to day life that they go through," said Wendy Armstrong of Wausau.
Anyone living or working in Marathon County can apply for the Citizens Academy. The class coordinator hopes to have another session this fall.