June 16, 2011
Police camp offering more this summer
2-week junior academy open to students in grades 9-12, includes firearm simulator, Taser demo
Cadets will have more to do at this summer’s second annual Junior Police Academy, including simulated firearm training and a morning workout with officers at the Syracuse Police Department’s police academy, said Cortland city school district School Resource Officer Rob Reyngoudt.
This year’s junior police academy runs Aug. 1-12, lasting a week longer than last year’s. Reyngoudt, who organizes it, said any Cortland County youths in grades nine through 12 can apply.
It will run each day from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Cortland Armory on Wheeler Avenue.
Each morning, cadets will go through some physical training, then various hands-on activities and classroom discussions.
“They get a small taste of what it’s like at a real police academy,” Reyngoudt said.
Even the morning training regimen has a military style to it, which last year proved to be popular with the students, he added.
“The use of ‘yes sir, no sir’ — last year the kids ate it up,” Reyngoudt said. “It’s a great challenge for the kids and to see police officers as mentors and educators.”
New this year, Reyngoudt said, is a firearm simulator that lets cadets mimic the split-second decision-making required when confronting and speaking with a suspect. The simulator reacts similar to a video game. It also tracks where users point their weapon and where bullets go, if fired.
“It’s a shoot, no-shoot scenario,” Reyngoudt said. “If you use great verbal commands and tell a suspect what to do, they do it.”
Police and military also use the same simulator in their training, he added.
The junior police academy will also feature a Taser demonstration.
“Obviously we’re not going to Taser the kids,” Reyngoudt said.
Fellow Cortland city police officers will be on hand to assist.
The Cortland Fire Department will also train and certify the cadets in first aid and performing CPR.
Demonstrations from the Cortland Police Department’s SWAT team, a state police K-9 unit and anti-drug-themed activities from the state National Guard, as well as physical training and a rock climbing wall are also part of the program.
Cadets were also trained in police defensive tactics and how to perform a traffic stop. Deputy Cortland Police Chief Paul Sandy also gave a demonstration last year on fingerprinting techniques, which cadets tried out themselves.
Teenagers who attended last year’s junior police academy can enroll again.
Reyngoudt said the cost per application this year is $100. That helps fund the program and pay for the uniform each cadet wears, Reyngoudt said.
Cadets will have official academy T-shirts, a polo shirt for the classroom, a hat and special running shorts for the morning workouts.
Applications are available at the Cortland Police Department on Court Street, or can be obtained by emailing Reyngoudt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The junior police academy accepts about 20 cadets.
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