Weekly Feature

2018-04-11 / Front Page

Police seeking youth academy participants

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

With applications due by the beginning of May, the Amherst Police Department is seeking interested participants for its annual Youth Police Academy program.

The academy, to be offered this summer, is an internship program for high school students considering a law enforcement career at the local, county, state or federal level.

According to Police Department officials, the program meets the minimum requirements of the state Education Department’s Career Exploration Internship Program, allowing participating students to receive high school credit toward graduation upon successfully completing the academy.

To receive credit, the student must also apply for the internship through his or her school internship coordinator prior to entering the academy.

Although the primary purpose of the academy is to acquaint the students with the various functions of the Amherst Police Department, the participants will also discover the minimum qualifications, training requirements and daily responsibilities of other county, state and federal law enforcement agencies through guest speakers and tours of their facilities.

Students will view photographs and video of crime and accident scenes and have the opportunity to take the actual physical fitness test required for police officers. Additionally, students have the opportunity to be exposed to pepper spray and will take part in a firearms training simulation by firing a handgun.

In addition to the regularly scheduled sessions, students will ride with an officer for a tour of duty and participate in a courtroom observation.

According to Officer Paul Alexander, the three-week academy will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays beginning July 9 and ending Friday, July 27, at the Amherst police headquarters, 500 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst. Upon the academy’s completion, a graduation ceremony will be held, allowing family and friends to attend the event.

Parental consent is required for students to participate in the academy. All applicants must successfully complete a background investigation and interview.

Also according to Alexander, students will be dismissed from the academy for tardiness, displaying an unprofessional attitude or engaging in conduct unbecoming a member of the academy — whether it is during a session or out of the class.

Only an absence for a valid excuse will be permitted. Unauthorized as well as valid excuses exceeding two days will result in dismissal from the academy.

Students should wear comfortable, casual attire, but jeans and shorts will not be permitted. Additionally, students should arrive at class prepared for the scheduled lessons and bring all of the necessary materials. Each student must maintain a three-ring binder to save handouts and record notes.

For more information concerning the academy, including an application, visit www.amherst.ny.us/police.

Completed applications must be submitted by Tuesday, May 1, to the student’s school internship coordinator or to Alexander at police headquarters.

Further information is available by contacting Alexander at 689-1387.

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