South Windsor Police Summer Youth Academy will introduce students to law enforcement

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Apr. 12, 2013
Contributed
Students will be required to complete a community service project during the week-long academy. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Middle school and high school students who are interested in law or law enforcement have a unique opportunity available to them this summer. The South Windsor Police Department will be holding the third annual South Windsor Police Summer Youth Academy. This exploratory summer program, led by members of the South Windsor Police Department, gives students ages 12 to 16 a deep insight into law enforcement, all the while instilling a sense of service and good citizenship.

According to SWPD Officer Caleb Lopez, lead instructor for the program, the day starts in a classroom setting, where instructors teach the Play By the Rules curriculum. This gives students a crash course in state law specific to Connecticut.

During the afternoon, they participate in an activity such as listening to a speaker. Past speakers have included Francis Carino, the head juvenile prosecutor for the state of Connecticut, former gang members, former corrections officers and current police officers.

Students have homework every night, where they reflect on what they learned during the session. They are required to do one community service project during the week, as well as a project that they present to parents at the end of the week.

“It's pretty intense, every minute is accounted for,” said Lopez. “The real goal is to teach them about the law, but more importantly, to teach them to be good citizens, be leaders in the community, give them skills to solve their own problems, mediate issues, and give them better choices when they run into dilemmas,” said Lopez.

There is also an advanced program held in July. This is by invitation only, and is available to those students who completed the basic program. Students in the advanced program learn how to approach a crime scene or spend a day at the police academy.

Lopez noted that the program is for anyone, not necessarily students who want to be police officers. “It's about getting kids involved,” he said.

The week-long program runs Monday, Aug. 12, to Friday, Aug. 16, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Applications are now being accepted through July 5. For more information or for an application, contact Officer Lopez at 860-644-2551 or e-mail caleb.lopez@southwindsor.org.


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