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WCSO, YPD & Ypsilanti Community Schools put on their first Junior Police Academy

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Ypsilanti Police Department and the Ypsilanti Community School District partnered this summer to run the 2016 Junior Police Academy. The academy was held at Ypsilanti High School over a three-week period and allowed 14 middle school age students (6th, 7th and 8th graders) to attend a mini police academy.

"The goal was to allow officers and students an opportunity to work together in a fun, creative, and interactive way this summer. We wanted to show young people what law enforcement is really about in hopes that one day they too will want to become an officer, we wanted to give our deputies and our young people a way to interact that wasn’t related to enforcement, and we wanted to build trusting relationships”, said Derrick Jackson, Director of Community Engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Students applied to take part in the program and were selected out of a pool of nearly 50 students. Some expressed an interest in law enforcement as a career, some were curious, and others were simply interested in a fun and safe alternative for the summer.

Following a fun three-weeks the cadets were recognized at a graduation ceremony and were sworn in as honorary deputies by Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton. Current University of Michigan Assistant football coach and former player, Tyrone Wheatley was on hand as the keynote speaker to offer words of encouragement.

The academy exposed students to the following:

  • Community beautification project: The group worked together on a volunteer community beautification project where they planted flowers, pulled weeds and cleaned up Burns Park.
  • Field Trips: The group had some fun on three different field trips. Entry fees were donated by the three locations.
    •  Rolling Hills Water Park
    •  EMU Rec Center
    • Yankee Air Museum
  • Academy courses: Specifically tailored for kids, these classes gave our young cadets the chance to gain hands on experience into the law enforcement world. One example was the Crime Scene class where cadets had the opportunity to take fingerprints, make foot print impression molds, and investigate a crime scene.
    • Detention center virtual tour
    • Court room tour and judicial system class
    • Evidence processing and crime scene investigation
    • Operating under the influence using simulator goggles and driving simulator
    • Traffic enforcement, radar and laser usage
    • Huron Valley Ambulance
    • Domestic violence and Safe House
    • Dive Team presentation
    • K9 presentation
    • Metro Dispatch tour
    • Mounted Unit presentation
    • Crisis negotiation/SWAT presentation
    • Each student got CPR and First Aid certified
    • Ozone House presentation
    • Graduation Ceremony
    • U of M Coach and former player-Tyrone Wheatley
    • Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
    • Ypsilanti Police Chief Tony DeGiusti
    • Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Director Derrick Jackson

The Jr. Academy will be back for the summer of 2017. For those interested in the program information will be available later in the year.  To get a glimpse of what you can participate in - check out our facebook page and watch our video from this year!


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