Local youth wishing to get a more in-depth look into law enforcement may wish to participate in the Dothan Police Department’s Junior Police Academy. Applications are still being accepted, and this year’s academy has expanded its sessions.
“Our Junior Police Academy is a two-week program,” said Dothan Police Cpl. John Chesser. “Every year this event is hosted the program grows, and this year we have three basic sessions and one advanced session scheduled.”
Last year roughly 75 youth participated in the Junior Police Academy. The academy is open to ages 12-17.
“Youth participating in the academy will receive hands-on experience from firearm training to learning techniques used by the Dothan Police Crime Scene Unit,” Chesser said. “Basically, the academy allows our youth the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a law enforcement officer.”
The first session is scheduled for June 3; a second session is scheduled for June 17; and the third session is scheduled for July 8. The advanced session will be held during the month of July and is for youth who have successfully completed a basic session and are 15 or older.
“If a student is interested in law enforcement, I urge them to sign up for our academy,” Chesser said. “This program gives the students an opportunity to participate in many of the same training exercises new officers undergo during the police academy, including academic law courses, building entry, and physical training.”
Chesser also believes the academy allows students a chance to not only receive a more in-depth look into law enforcement, but the program also to strengthen and build friendships with fellow participants.
“We have students who participate in the program who are attending public schools, private schools, and students who are home schooled,” Chesser said. “This program allows students to make new friends, open up, and just enjoy exploring a look into law enforcement.”
Students interested in participating in the first session of the Junior Police Academy should register by May 17. All other participants must be registered by May 31. A graduation ceremony will be held following the academy.
For more information call the Dothan Police Community Service Division at 334-792-0230.