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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Inaugural Police Department Teen Academy a huge success

During the last two weeks of June, the Westminster Police Department offered their first ever Teen Police Academy to Westminster area teens. Initially one, 40-hour class was offered, but demand required a second class.

At the end of the week-long class, 42 teens learned about the workings of the Westminster Police Department. They were in class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and covered topics including the history of the Westminster Police Department, arrest control, self-defense, drug identification, internet predators and investigation methods.

They also ventured out into the field and drove a police cruiser through an obstacle course, cleared a school building’s basement of criminals in the dark, practiced firing a weapon in a training simulator with Broomfield’s Police Department, and learned about weapons and tactics from the SWAT team.

Life skills and responsibility were interwoven into lessons. Teens gained understanding of the policing profession and were exposed to the hard decisions and sacrifices that officers are forced to make daily.

Both teen academy classes ended in a graduation celebration. Officers were pleased by the varied backgrounds of the guests teens invited. The kids’ guests included loved ones who worked in law enforcement, people from all economic groups, racial diversity and particularly noteworthy many non-English speaking extended families.

Graduating teens were offered special access to Westminster Police Citizens Academy Alumni Association. The Westminster School Resource Officer team has plans for continuing education and activities to keep these graduates involved. This academy will continue to be offered annually.

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