Area police plan summer youth academy

Class aims to create positive relationships between local officers, teenagers

GREENFIELD

Local teens interested in becoming police officers one day have a chance to give the career a test drive this summer during a week-long law enforcement teen academy hosted by the Hancock County Sheriff’s and Greenfield Police departments.

Organizers hope their teen police academy will give participants a broader look at the day-to-day work police officers do, all while fostering positive relationships with young community members – the latest in a series of programs to pop up in recent years hoping to serve that cause.

The academy runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 12 to 16 at Greenfield-Central High School, 810 N. Broadway St., Greenfield. Daily lessons will focus on an array of law enforcement topics, including traffic stops, evidence collection and crime scene investigations.

The program will put local teens alongside the uniformed men and women they hope to become one day, said Hancock County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bridget Foy.

Teens will have a chance to tour the Hancock County Jail and local police departments, see special presentations from the K9, SWAT and drug-enforcement teams and participate in simulated firearms and stun-gun training.

Officers from police departments across the county have signed up to assist, eager to form positive relationships with local teens, Foy said.

Tension between police and the communities they serve has been high in recent years, officials said. The growing number of violent acts across the country prompted police and fire officials to begin several new programs aimed at promoting positive connections.

Last year, for example, the Greenfield Police Department, Greenfield Fire Territory and Hancock County Sheriff’s Department teamed up to host a community cookout, hoping to bring residents and first-responders together for a fun and educational experience.

Continuing in that stride, Foy and Greenfield Police Chief Jeff Rasche set out last year to create a program that centered on connecting police with local teens.

The academy seeks to bridge a gap between local law enforcement and the county’s youth, Rasche said. Hopefully, the teens who participate will have a chance to see a human side of the officers who patrol their streets, he said.

“We want them to know we’re the good guys,” he said.

The program mirrors the sheriff’s department’s citizens academy, which Foy hosts for adults each year; it touches on many of the same topics but is geared toward a younger crowd and will be more hands-on rather than classroom-based, she said.

Any Hancock County resident between 13 and 17 years old with no criminal record may apply.

Foy expects there to be space for some 40 teens to participate.The deadline to apply is May 12.

Applications can be picked up from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, 123 E. Main St., Greenfield, or the Greenfield Police Department, 116 S. State St., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Apply now

Teen ages 13 to 17 who have no criminal record are welcome to apply to participate in a summer teen academy hosted by the the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and Greenfield Police Department.

The program is open to about 40 teens, specifically those interested in a career in law enforcement. The academy runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 12-16.

Applications can be picked up from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, 123 E. Main St., Greenfield, or the Greenfield Police Department, 116 S. State St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Once completed, the application can be faxed to 317-477-1399 or emailed to bfoy@hancockcoingov.org.

The deadline to apply is May 12.

Anyone with questions can call 317-477-1147.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.