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January 17, 2018 - 2:00pm

Sheriff's Office to offer Teen Academy to teach high school students about law enforcement

posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement, news.

High school students in Genesee County are going to be offered an opportunity to learn about law enforcement through a new program in the Sheriff's Office called Teen Academy.

If the pilot is successful, it will become a regular program for the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff William Sheron presented the idea to the Public Service Committee yesterday.

He said the idea was brought to him by the resource officer at the school, which he modeled after a program in Monroe County.

Each academy will be a week long and will include visits to the jail, the 911 Center, and the Sheriff's Office. Participants will get to see the emergency response team in action, learn about hostage negotiation, the K-9 program, and evidence recovery.

There will also be daily physical fitness runs, defensive tactics training, and team building exercises. The students will also receive classroom training in penal law and the state's traffic laws. Finally, students will participate in mock DWI stops and procedures.

The program is free to students selected to participate. There will be up to 15 students per academy.

Classes will be held at Byron-Bergen High School.

Eligible students are juniors or seniors in good academic standing with little or no disciplinary issues. They must be able to participate in physical fitness activities. Students need to have a positive attitude. Qualified students will be interviewed and screened.

"I think in today’s day and I age, I think we need to try to get our youth more involved with police officers to see what the role of law enforcement really is rather than what is depicted in the news media all too often," Sheron said. "It’s also a great recruiting tool."

CORRECTION: This story originally stated that the program would be available only to students at Byron-Bergen in the first class. That was incorrect. It will be open to students from all of the high schools in the county. Classes will be held at Byron-Bergen.

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