EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – For kids dreaming of growing up to be a police officer and for those looking to learn more about what a police officer does, the Eau Claire Police Department held Junior Police Academy.
The ECPD is offering two separate week-long sessions that give kids between the ages 12 to 17 years old a chance to learn more about what the officers in their community do. The sessions are community funded and run from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm each day.
The Junior Police Academy is taking place June 21 through June 25 in Eau Claire. The ECPD has been spending each day connecting with kids from the Eau Claire community.
“All the school resource officers in the Eau Claire School District are apart of this Junior Police Academy, so a lot of the kids attending go to our schools,” Memorial High School Resource Officer, Ellen Scott, said. “So, it’s another way for us to spend time with the kids, get to know them. ”
The kids were given the chance to explore all of the different roles the officers have to give them a taste of their local police department.
“They really enjoy the SWAT experience because it’s so hands on, but also our crime scene unit sets up a mock crime scene for them to investigate, they really enjoy that,” Scott said.
Activities include anything from hands-on training, like getting to go in department vehicles, to more educational experiences like watching police videos in the classroom.
“We got to go in the SWAT car, like the big one, and then we got to go in the squad car equipment,” Junior Police Academy Participant, Elijah Edwards, said.
Edwards said his experience so far has changed his perspective on police officers for the better.
“I’ve learned that like every single police officer that I talk to is really cool, um they are all really chill and all really nice too,” Edwards said.
Edwards says he may like to wear a badge himself one day.
“Before when I went here for the tour I never thought about being a police officer, but this camp really made me think about it as a um, as a future job,” Edwards said.
Overall, the goal is to create more bonds across the Eau Claire community.
“Kids leave the academy having a good understanding of this community and this police department,” Scott said.
A graduation ceremony will be held in Carson Park this Friday for the kids at the Junior Police Academy and their families. The next session of the Junior Police Academy will take place the week of July 25, 2022.
To donate to the Junior Police Academy click here.
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