Olentangy Valley News

Students get taste of law enforcement via academy


Making traffic stops, investigating crime scenes and handcuffing criminals are all in a day's work for members of Powell's new Youth Police Academy.

Signups have begun for the first-ever session of the Powell Police Department's free youth academy, modeled after the long-running Citizen Police Academy for adults.

High school students ages 15 and older can join the five-week program. There is no cost to participate.

Courses will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. every Wednesday night, Feb. 6 to March 6.

Sgt. Scott Roach said participants will experience a typical day in the life of a police officer and learn how to process a crime scene, apprehend criminals and use the tools of the trade.

They also will take part in special activities such as a firearms simulator and a police-pursuit simulator.

"The program is designed to give them a glimpse of what it takes to be a police officer," Roach said.

The Youth Police Academy is designed to offer hands-on experiences and includes less classroom work than the 10-week Citizen Police Academy, Roach said.

He said the program welcomes all students, from those with just a small interest to those who hope to pursue a career in law enforcement, the military or other kinds of public service.

"If they have just a little bit of an interest or they're undecided, this is their chance to see what they could be doing on a daily basis as a police officer and make a more-informed decision," he said.

Students also might leave with a better idea of what to study in college to get their dream law-enforcement job, Roach said.

On the final day of class, the police department will invite representatives from federal agencies such as the FBI and Secret Service to talk to students about what it takes to get a job in their organization.

The youth program could become an annual event if all goes well, officials said.

To sign up, call Roach at 614-885-5005 or email him at sroach@cityofpowell.us.

Space is limited; the program has room for just about 15 participants.