Junior police academy trains officers of the future

GEORGETOWN, Del. – If you’ve been traveling through Georgetown this week, you may have noticed a couple dozen teenagers running through downtown. But they’re not just trying to get in shape or get out of the heat, these young men and women are getting an idea of what it takes to be a police officer.

The Georgetown Junior Police Academy has been up and running for four years, training local Middle and high school students for what they can expect from a future in law enforcement.

During the seven day grind, cadets learn about everything from the history of policing, to collecting evidence, to financial training, with an emphasis this year on training in technology.

“We’re going to test them physically and mentally of course. We start off each day with physical activity,” said Det. Joey Melvin, with the Georgetown Police Department.

Melvin says this academy will hopefully help with recruitment of officers in the future. But the goal is not just to search for future officers in blue, but to help mold the citizens of the future.

“I’m not just trying to identify those who want to enter law enforcement, we’re just looking for anybody that wants to work hard and become a leader in the community,” Melvin says.

Hard workers like Tarryl Sturgis, who is back for his fourth year. He says not only has the academy opened his eyes to a career in law enforcement, but it has made a difference in his personal life, including his work with the Sussex Central football team.

“I used to think oh I can’t do this, or I can’t do that, now I think I can do anything I want.”

And though the academy is only for a short time, the cadets see long term growth.

“Seven days is a short amount of time to do that, but it’s amazing to see how these kids come together,” Melvin said.

Some of these cadets have some amazing aspirations. Brenna Reese is in her second year, she wants to be a member of the FBI, and Jonathan Henry, in his first year, says his goal is to be an Air Force pilot, and then go into law enforcement. Sturgis says he plans to go into law enforcement after school.

Graduation from the Academy will take place this Tuesday.

Categories: Check It Out, Delaware, Local News