A police academy for Delaware children can open the door to years of opportunities for kids interested in law enforcement.

A police academy for Delaware children can open the door to years of opportunities for kids interested in law enforcement.

Applications and fees for the Delaware Police Department's Summer Academy for youths ages 14-20 are due by May 17.

The Summer Academy program is set to run from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily June 17-22 at the Delaware Police Department, 70 N. Union St.

Students who complete the academy will have the core training necessary to be part of the Delaware Police Explorers, a year-round educational program with lots of hands-on learning opportunities.

Sgt. Adam Willauer said participants in the intensive one-week academy program will experience a typical day in the life of a police officer and learn how to process a crime scene, make traffic stops, control crowds and more.

"It gives them a quick taste of what it's like to go through a real police academy," Willauer said.

Once a youth becomes a full member of the Delaware Police Explorers, he or she can expect to meet once per month with fellow students to practice law-enforcement skills and learn about life as a police officer.

Throughout the year, Explorers are invited to help local officers during community events with responsibilities such as maintaining the barricades at the All-Horse Parade or directing traffic at the Delaware Arts Festival.

During other meetings, officers will set up hands-on activities such as a mock car crash. Explorers will learn how to estimate the speeds of wrecked vehicles by taking measurements, among other investigative techniques.

The Delaware Fire Department also will visit the Explorers during the year to teach a clinic on CPR and other first-aid techniques.

In another session, Explorers will learn a range of self-defense tactics used by police officers.

Explorers ages 16 and older also can schedule ride-along opportunities with Delaware officers throughout the year.

Monthly meetings include classroom learning and hands-on activities.

"The idea is to give young adults with an interest in law enforcement a chance to see the ins and outs of the job," Willauer said.

Participants even have the chance to show off their skills and compete against other Explorers groups around the state in a yearly competition.

The registration fee for the Summer Academy is $70, which includes enrollment in the Explorers program for one year.

The annual fee to stay in the Explorers program is $40.

Enrollment in the Summer Academy is capped at 25 students.

To enroll, email Willauer at awillauer@delawareohio.net.