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Community Engagement Opportunities

At the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office our mission is “to Serve and Protect in Partnership with Our Community”. One way to do that is through community engagement which gives you a chance to get to know the police officers who work in your area of town. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has a lot of opportunities available to citizens who want to get involved beyond connecting with us on social media.

In this section you will learn about the various ways to connect with the JSO.

We appreciate everyone who wants to engage with their police, and we’re committed to making it easy to do so.

Sheriff’s Watch Programs

The programs under the Sheriff’s Watch brand focus on citizen engagement with police in an effort to make our community a safer place.

» Sheriff's Watch - Participate in a monthly meeting in your area of town!
» Sheriff's Watch - Neighborhood, also known as JSO's Neighborhood Watch Program

» Sheriff's Watch - Apartments
» Sheriff's Watch - Business
» Sheriff's Watch - Español
» Sheriff's Watch - River

Citizens Police Academy

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Citizens Police Academy provides members of the community with an insider’s look into the agency.

» JSO's Citizens Police Academy Application Form

Crime Prevention and Safety Education Classes

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office provides a wide variety of programs in several subject areas. Each class is taught by a JSO employee.

» Women's Basic Self-Defense & Personal Safety Course
Free to females, ages 15 and up who reside in Duval County

» Bomb-Making Awareness Program
As part of the Department of Homeland Security's Bomb-Making Awareness Program (BMAP), our trained outreach officer helps parents, guardians, and business owners identify behaviors before they escalate into potential bomb-making activities.

» Crime Prevention Programs for Citizens

» Safety Education Programs for School-Aged Children

» S.M.A.R.T. Motorcycle Safety Course
Free Motorcycle Rider Training Grant Funded by the Florida Department of Transportation

Citizen Ride Along

See the streets of Jacksonville from a police officer’s perspective by signing up for a “ride along” with one of our officers. All civilian observers must be at least 16 years old. Those under 18 years of age must have written parental consent or a legal guardian’s notarized consent.

Please complete the application form (PDF of the application) and bring it to any zone substation at least three days prior to the ride along.

If you have questions regarding the ride along process please contact the District Substation.

All media personnel interested in scheduling a “ride along” must contact the Public Relations and Information Unit at 904.630.2133.

Police Explorers Program

Teaching tomorrow’s leaders…

The men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office work with youth in the community as part of the Police Explorer program, Post #948.

This program is part of the statewide curriculum from the Florida Sheriffs Explorer Association and helps educate and involve youth in police operations and further develops their interest in the law enforcement profession.

» Go to the Police Explorers page

Corrections Civilian Observer Program

The purpose of this program is to provide individuals desiring to learn about the corrections profession the opportunity to do so through first-hand observation by working along with a certified Corrections Officer at a correctional facility. Please call 904.630.2365 for the Corrections Civilian Observer Program Application. 

Eligibility Requirements

Any person over the age of 16 years of age meeting any of the following requirements may participate in the Observer Program:

FTO/Training Sergeant - Coordinator
500 East Adams Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202


Observer Program Coordinator
500 East Adams Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Field Training Sergeant
4727 Lannie Road
Jacksonville, FL 32218

Once the completed Observer Program Application form is received the program coordinator will:

The Observer Program Application form must be submitted at least five working days before the date desired as the work along. Only the assistant chief of the division or higher may waive the five working day requirement.

Observers must agree to abide by all program rules listed on the Observer Program Application form.

On the day of the scheduled work along, the watch lieutenant or his/her designee will greet the observer at public reception, 15 minutes prior to roll call. At this time, the watch lieutenant or his/her designee will:

General Guidelines for the Corrections Observer Program

  • Law enforcement / criminal justice personnel from other agencies;
  • Sheriff’s Office personnel or other City of Jacksonville employees who can demonstrate that the experience gained from a work along as an observer would benefit them or their agency;
  • Persons who are applying for a law enforcement / criminal justice position with the Sheriff’s Office; and/or
  • Those individuals who have a sincere desire to gain more knowledge about the corrections profession. Individuals wishing to participate in the Observer Program will be instructed to complete and mail-in the Corrections Civilian Observer Program Application.
  • Personally interview each applicant's suitability for this program and determine from applicant the facility and watch the applicant desires for his/her work along;
  • Ensure the applicant has completed the application form and signed the Observer Program Rules section on the back of the application form;
  • Answer any questions the applicant may have about the rules or the program;
  • Ensure the applicant is fingerprinted and photographed; and
  • Ensure a criminal history check of the applicant is conducted.
  • Ensure that the observer signs in and receives an 'Observer Pass' from the public reception officer; and
  • Escort the observer to the muster room to be introduced to shift personnel and to the volunteer corrections officer supervising him/her for the work along.
  • The Observer Program Application form is valid for 30 days from the date of application.
  • Once approved, an observer may be permitted to schedule one work long within any two-week period that the request is valid. Any deviations from this schedule must be authorized by the assistant division chief or higher authority.
  • Observers must be escorted by the supervising corrections officer at all times while in the secure area of the facility.
  • The work along may be terminated at any time by the observer or corrections personnel when it serves the best interest of the observer or the Sheriff's Office or in the event the observer fails to follow Observer Program Rules & Information.
  • Any time a work along is terminated early, the on-duty watch lieutenant will be notified by the corrections officer supervising the observer.

Camp Opportunities

Harmony in the Streets
Harmony in the Streets is a free, fun filled five-day camp for boys and girls, ages 6 - 12, provided by the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches.

» Registration open for four camp sessions starting in July 2024.
Teen Police Academy
Teen Police Academy is a free teen edition of one of the agency's most popular classes, Citizens Police Academy. This week-long, interactive academy is for students ages 14 -17 years old.

» Registration open for Summer 2024 camp session.

We are currently accepting applications for the Teen Police Academy - Spring Break Session. Please click here to register your child.

Teen Driver Challenge

Parents and Guardians, are you concerned about your teenager's safety while driving? Sign your teen up for the FREE Teen Driver Challenge Class.  This one-day hands-on education program addresses the primary factors affecting teen drivers. 

» Teen Driver Challenge Application Form

Volunteer Opportunities for Adults and Students

» Volunteer Application

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