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Junior Police Academy opportunity for teens to experience feel for law enforcement career

Becky Campbell • Updated May 15, 2019 at 8:04 PM

Teenagers interested in law enforcement have an opportunity to get a feel for the career and learn more about it during a weeklong Junior Police Academy offered by the Johnson City Police Department this summer. 

The training is open to girls and boys ages 14-18, JCPD Chief Karl Turner said.

“The program will focus on youth and young adults who have an interest in the law enforcement profession,” Turner said. Getting people interested in a law enforcement career has been difficult in recent years, which means there are often open spots on the JCPD roster.

“This has been designed to take the mystery out of police procedures and policies while informing and educating the cadets involved toward police officers and their role in society,” Turner said. “The cadets will attend a 40-hour course climaxing in a team-oriented competition that involves skills, knowledge, and abilities they have learned through interesting and knowledgeable instruction.”

The training, scheduled for July 8-12 will be held at the department’s training grounds, where participants will experience what it is like to go through a real police academy and, although not as comprehensive or demanding, the cadets will learn the same skills.

“The purpose of the Junior Police Academy is to provide a service to the youth of this area by allowing them to see first-hand what a police officer does on daily basis and to give them the opportunity to discover if this is a career that they might want to pursue,” Turner said.

Turner said the academy could help add participants to the police department’s Explorer Program, which in turn could lead those kids to a career in police work.

“The Junior Police Academy is a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity for a hands-on learning experience for young people in topics such as crime scene investigations, traffic stops, DUI enforcement, and police use-of-force.

Anyone interested in participating in this academy can ca;; Officer Jaeda Burkey through the department’s Records Office at 423-434-6125 or come by the Police Department Records Division to pick up an application. Deadline for applications will be June 30. Class size is limited to 24 students.

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