Citizen’s Academy


The Yolo County District Attorney Citizens Academy is sponsored by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office in cooperation with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Davis Police Department, the UC Davis Police Department, the West Sacramento Police Department, the Winters Police Department, the Woodland Police Department, and the Yolo County Probation Department.

The Citizen’s Academy is an eight-week course designed to involve diverse communities in participating in mutual learning about the criminal justice system. The goal is to educate the public and improve relationships and communication between the many different communities in Yolo County and the criminal justice system.

The eight-week academy meets once a week, usually on Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:30 p.m., beginning in late April and running through mid June.   For more information, or to enroll, please contact Wendy Wilcox at (530) 666-8356, Class space is limited. Applicants must be 18 years of age and be a resident of Yolo County.  The application deadline is during the first week of April annually.

Lauren Keene from the Davis Enterprise wrote an article about our Week 4 class, "High Profile Cases - People v. Daniel Marsh", that took place on June 4th, 2015. Here is a link to her article titled: Marsh Case Illustrates Challenges of Solving, Trying Crimes.

DCTV In The Studio - The Citizen's Academy

Yolo County District Attorney’s
Citizens Academy

Summary of Classes
in partnership with

Yolo County Sheriff’s Office
California Highway Patrol
Davis Police Department
UC Davis Police Department
Woodland Police Department
West Sacramento Police Department
Winters Police Department
Yolo County Probation Department

APRIL 11 - MAY 30

The Citizens Academy is held annually from
Late April - Mid June
Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.



Schedule varies and is subject to change

Week One:

Welcome: Introduction to the Citizens Academy. “It Takes a Community….” What can a concerned citizen do to make our community a better place to live?

Summary: Welcome to Citizens Academy with an overview of the next eight weeks and the participating agencies.

Introduction and Overview of the Academy, Mission & Welcoming Remarks
District Attorney Jeff Reisig

Welcoming Remarks
Yolo County Sheriff Tom Lopez
Yolo County Probation Department Chief Dan Fruchtenicht
California Highway Patrol Captain Ivan Tien
Davis Police Department Chief Darren Pytel
UC Davis Police Department Chief Joseph Farrow
Winters Police Department Chief John Miller
West Sacramento Police Chief Thomas McDonald
Woodland Police Department Deputy Chief Derek Kaff

Overview of Public Safety Agencies Representatives from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and Law Enforcement Agencies

Week Two:

Tour of the County Jail and Coroner's Office

Summary:  The Yolo County Sheriff's Office provides a broad spectrum of services including patrol to the unincorporated areas of the County, Investigations, Court Services, Animal Services, and Jail services.  Sheriff Tom Lopez is also the Coroner of the County.  The primary duty of the Coroner is to determiner the cause and manner of death.

Sheriff Tom Lopez and Sheriff's Office / Morgue staff

Tour:  During this session participants will tour the jail and the morgue. 

Week Three:

The Role of the District Attorney and Challenges: “Law & Order.”

Summary: While prime time television shows such as “Law & Order” capture ratings and audiences, they fail to show the day-to-day work of the District Attorney. We will provide an overview of the District Attorney’s Office and its Mission: Justice Finds No Solace in Delay. Learn how a case makes its way through the criminal justice system.  Also, you will hear about the challenges facing prosecutors today, including Realignment and Proposition 47.  The District Attorney's Office will provide an overview using the case People v. Robert Hodges, a high profile triple homicide case, as an example. 

Overview of the DA’s Office
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven

Anatomy of a Case
Asst. Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Mount

Emerging Topics and/or Criminal Case of Interest
Subject and speaker to be determined. 

Week Four:

The Role of Other Partners in the Criminal Justice System

Summary: Other players in the criminal justice system have an important role such as the judiciary and defense attorneys and Grand Jury.  

The Judiciary
Presiding Judge David Rosenberg

The Role of the Defense Attorney
Defense Attorney Steve Sabbadini

Special presentation: Real DUI trial will be observed at this session.  

Week Five:

** Bonus session: WSPD Officer Scott Farnsworth will discuss the invaluable use of K-9 (dogs) to assist the police in protecting the public.  After Off. Farnsworth’s presentation, which will begin promptly at 5pm, there will be a live demonstration with K-9s from WSPD and other Yolo County law enforcement agencies.

Victim Services

Summary: What are the rights of victims? Learn about Marsy’s Law. We will talk about these issues and the services we offer victims. You will also hear from victims and survivors.

District Attorney Victim Services Program Manager Laura Valdes
Guest Victims/Survivors

Week Six:

Innovation  -  Restorative Justice - Collaborative Courts 

Summary: Learn about how partners in the Yolo County justice system have developed innovative and progressive courts to focus efforts on treating and helping defendants who commit crimes due to mental illness or addiction issues.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Chris Bulkeley

Week Seven:

Community Focus and Gangs

Summary: Learn what constitutes a gang? Who are the members? What does it mean to be a “gang” member? What can communities do to help prevent this problem and combat it?

Yolo County District Attorney’s Office
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens
District Attorney Investigator Aaron Moe

Week Eight:

Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers - addressing the schools to prison pipeline; Crating Partnerships; Data Driven Intervention and other Innovations in Justice;  Community Policing and Community Participation – “From Rhetoric to Reality – Where Do We Go from Here?”


Summary: Learn how Yolo County law enforcement is addressing the homeless issue in our community.  Reflections on the first seven weeks and a look forward to continue the dialogue. Closing remarks on community involvement and participation to achieve long-term public safety solutions and strategies. Graduation reception and ceremony.

Deputy District Attorney Diane Ortiz
Woodland Police Lieutenant Heath Parsons


Schedule varies and is subject to change

Applicants must be 18 years of age and reside in Yolo County.
For more information, please contact:
Wendy Wilcox
Yolo County District Attorney’s Office
301 Second Street
Woodland, CA 95695
(530) 666-8356

Citizens Academy Complete Application 2019 in Adobe Acrobat PDF Requires Adobe Reader

2018 Citizens Academy Graduates

Image depicts the Citizens Academy graduates from 2018

2017 Citizens Academy Graduates

2016 Citizens Academy Graduates

2015 Citizens Academy Graduates

Citizens Academy 2015

2014 Citizens Academy Graduates

2014 Citizens Academy Graduates

2013 Citizens Academy Graduates

2013 Citizen Academy Graduates

2012 Citizens Academy Graduates

2012 Citizen Academy Graduates