Video: Teenagers Learn Valuable Skills Through Junior Police Academy

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – DeMarcus Owens will be a senior at Tupelo High School, and he already has a career path.

“I see myself either becoming a normal police officer or becoming a state trooper,” Owens said.

That is one reason Owens is back for his third Junior Police Academy. Cadets live at the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center Monday through Friday for the two week course.

Cadets spend time in the classroom, getting an overview of what police must know. There is also a class on crime scene investigation and they get to rappel down the side of a three story tower with firefighters.

School Resource Officers act as instructors.

“I love spending time with these kids. I see these kids at school, there are kids in here that I eat lunch with, everyday and to be here, be a friend to them , learn a little more about them, they learn a little more about me,” said Zach Anderson, an SRO with the Tupelo Police Department.

Perhaps the most popular class is firearm safety. Instructors from Square One Outdoors volunteer their time every year.

“If they are interested in police work, which is why they are in the academy, it’s just a part of your routine, everyday scenario, just like you have to fill out paperwork, you need to know how to safely take care of your firearm, cleaning, routine maintenance and how to use it,” said Instructor Jeff Sewell.

For cadets, the Junior Police Academy packs in a lot of learning, fun and life skills.

“I learn discipline, teamwork and I learn that most kids do not get to be able to do stuff like this,” said Kiana Vance.

“If you love being outdoors and love being physical, love socializing with other kids, younger or near your age, this is the most perfect thing for you,” Owens said.

The Junior Police Academy wraps up Friday.

When they graduate, students will be certified in basic CPR, use of an AED and boating and hunting safety.

Categories: Local News

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