14 Graduate from Police Department’s First Teen Citizen’s Academy
On Saturday, November 12, 2016, 14 local students graduated from the Winchester Police Department’s inaugural Teen Citizen’s Academy. The class provided students with an inside look at local law enforcement operations and challenges. Students were represented from local high schools, including Handley, James Wood and Sherando.
One of the goals of the Teen Citizen’s Academy is to develop positive relations between the police and youth through education. It also allows teens to explore a possible career in law enforcement.
“It was awesome to meet the officers and get an inside look at what’s going on,” said Anastasia Phillips. The Sherando High School 10th grader wants to be study criminal justice in college and become a police officer. She said her favorite part of the class was learning how officers train police dogs, and hearing how local departments are working together to combat heroin overdoses.
“They are like superheroes, but on the street. Their life is on the line every day,” Phillips said. “I want to help keep the streets safe and be a positive influence to improve police relations,” she said.
The class, held from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., was the first class specific for teenagers. It’s a spin-off of the Police Citizen’s Academy, which is currently in its 20th year. Activities included a tour of the Police Department, the 911 Dispatch Center, and the Timbrook Youth Reporting Center. Topics included gang activity, drugs, a K-9 demonstration, animal control, the juvenile court system and crime scene processing.
Graduates were invited to apply for the new Junior Volunteers in Policing Program where members will assist the VIP’s with special events in the community. Students must be 16 years old to apply. The Department plans to hold another Teen Citizen’s Academy in the spring of 2017.
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