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Teen Academy

July 23, 2022 - 10:09pm

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The Genesee County Sheriff's Office Teen Academy Class of 2022 graduated 14 members on Friday afternoon at the Conable Technology Building at Genesee Community College in Batavia. 

Filling in for Sheriff William Sheron who is under the weather,  Chief Deputy Brian Frieday started the ceremony with a moment of silence for a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, who was ambushed by gunfire overnight in the City of Rochester and lost his life in the line of duty.

"This serves as a reminder that, unfortunately, there is danger in police work; not trying to push you away, that is the reality of the job," Frieday told the graduates.

After a pause in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the Teen Academy was moved to GCC and is now being run by Academy Director Deputy Richard Schildwaster. Deputy Matthew Butler started the program as the School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School in 2018, and in 2019 Butler retired.

"Many people and organizations make this work, it's not put together in a week or even a month, this has been worked on for several months," Schildwaster said.

Frieday thanked GCC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Karen Wicka for helping coordinate and provide the facilities, along with Genesee County Stop DWI for the funding and the county Legislature for supporting the Academy.

Frieday told students he was very thankful they chose to get involved in the criminal justice system.

"Without you guys we wouldn't have this program. You volunteer your time, take time out of your summer. It's nice and sunny out there, who wants to be running in 90-degree heat," he said. "You put forth the time and hard work and you came together as a team. Thank you for participating, it's what makes this a sucess."

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Top photo: Celebrating their status as Teen Academy graduates are, from left to right front row: Quinn Woeller, Wendy Lagunas Perez, Kaylee Tundo, Mary Engelhardt, Lea Donofrio, Michael Ehrmentraut, Hannah Spencer and Grace Slocum, and left to right back row: Lukas Volkmar, Christopher Zastrocky, Ian Kepple, Halie Deville, Joey Schnitzer and Michael Covert. Genesee County Legislators Rochelle Stein and Gary Maha, also former county Sheriff, in the front row during a portion of the Teen Academy Friday, and a group of students listen during a related class at GCC. Photos by Alecia Kaus.

 

 

July 20, 2022 - 9:39pm

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There are 13 students participating in the third annual week-long Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy at Genesee Community College this week. The program was started by Deputy Matthew Butler in 2018 while he was a School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School. Butler retired in 2019, and the academy was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

This is the first year the program has been at Genesee Community College, which organizers chose for its central location in Genesee County.

“Byron-Bergen was a great host, but we received feedback that the location was a long haul for some. GCC is a central location, and it is readily available for kids from every school district in Genesee County,” says Deputy/SRO Rich Schildwaster, who is now Lead Deputy of the Teen Academy.

GCC also offers virtual technology, which is new to the program this year.

“We did not have this option a couple of years ago and its one of the things we have been able to add because GCC has a simulator here as part of their criminal justice program,” Schildwaster said.

Students walk into a virtual reality and have a scenario going on in front of them where they interact with people on the screen.

“The scenario can go in different directions. They may be presented with a deadly force encounter, or they may not. They have to make that judgement. It gives them that perspective. Scenarios range from a traffic stop where you walk up to a car and deal with a person to maybe an active shooter situation where you show up in front of the building and people are running out, and you go in and you have to appropriately handle that or try and make decisions like a law enforcement officer would.”

The VirTra Training simulator at GCC has also been used by local law enforcement agencies over the past few years to help prepare law enforcement officers for real-life incidents and different scenarios.

The goal of the Teen Academy is to attract good candidates to the law enforcement field. The academy is run like an actual police academy. Each day begins with physical training like CrossFit, which Deputy Chad Cummings and Investigator Chad Minuto organize.

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Students have attended instructional classes on investigations, penal law, traffic stops, defensive tactics and a Stop the Bleed class where students can recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively.

On the last day of the academy, students will tour the jail, the courthouse, the Sheriff’s Office, dispatch center, view an ERT demonstration and attend communications and jail staff presentations. Students will take a final PT test, final exam, and attend a review followed by an afternoon graduation ceremony.

Schildwaster says his first year organizing the academy has been a great experience and the local community has stepped up to assist.

“We have a great community here, not all of our instructors are from the Sheriff’s Office. Everyone in the community has jumped on this whole-heartedly and embraced us. Everybody’s dedication makes all this come together because everyone believes in it and is excited to do this. It’s a good program for the kids.”

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Top photo: Paramedic Wade Schwab talks with students of the Teen Academy Wednesday morning at GCC. Students participate in the Stop the Bleed class; Investigator Joe Loftus teaches Defensive Tactics class on Wednesday afternoon; Investigator Kevin Forsyth also teaches Defensive Tactics class on Wednesday afternoon; Deputy SRO Jeremy McClellan with students on Wednesday morning; and Deputy Morgan Ewert, left, Paramedic Wade Schwab, center, and Deputy Jordan Alejandro, right, with students on Wednesday. Photos by Alecia Kaus.

April 29, 2022 - 6:38pm
posted by Press Release in Teen Academy, Sheriff's Office, GCC, news.

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Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will be offering its third annual Teen Academy July 18 – July 22, 2022, at a new venue, Genesee Community College.

“We are excited to be partnering with Genesee Community College.  The campus provides us the opportunity to introduce Teen Academy participants to the college’s criminal justice facilities, which include a 9-1-1 dispatch console simulator and a firearms simulator.  The Teen Academy is a one-week, structured program which consists of instructional classes designed to provide high-school-aged students within our community an introduction to law enforcement training and gain an understanding of law enforcement’s role in their community.  It is our hope that teens will build confidence while learning good decision-making and leadership skills,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

Academy instructors are experienced deputy sheriffs who will discuss the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office.  Participants will also:

  • visit the County Jail, 911 Emergency Services Dispatch Center, and Sheriff’s Office
  • observe displays of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), Hostage Negotiation, SCUBA Team, K-9 Unit and Evidence Recovery
  • be provided insight into motor vehicle accident reconstruction
  • participate in daily physical fitness runs, defensive tactics, and team-building exercises
  • participate in a classroom setting and learn about the  NYS Penal Laws and Vehicle & Traffic Laws
  • participate in mock traffic stops and DWI procedures

Qualified candidates will be selected for an interview screening process if they meet the following requirements:

  • must be entering grades 10-12 in the fall
  • must be in good academic standing with little to no disciplinary issues
  • must be able to participate in physical fitness activities
  • must have a positive attitude
  • must have their parent’s permission

There is no charge to attend the academy.  Application deadline is May 13, 2022. 

For more information or to obtain an application, check out our Facebook page or contact Deputy Rich Schildwaster at (585) 344-7725.

Top photo: Submitted photo.  Photos below, file photos from 2018

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July 26, 2019 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Teen Academy, Sheriff's Office, news.

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Press release:

“I am pleased to announce that the second Teen Academy was another great success," said Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron. "This academy was made possible with the support of Genesee County STOP DWI and the Genesee County Legislators.

"The students were provided with the opportunity to experience the various roles of law enforcement in our community, and they eagerly embraced all aspects of the curriculum.

"I want to thank the students for their hard work and dedication and to all those that provided instruction throughout this weeklong program. A special thank you to the Academy Director, Deputy Matthew R. Butler, and deputies/school resource officers Chad P. Cummings, Richard S. Schildwaster, Eric J. Meyer, Patrick J. Reeves, Howard O. Wilson, and Jeremy M. McClellan along with Investigator Chad J. Minuto for their assistance and efforts in coordinating such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the students.

"We look forward to continuing this annual event for students throughout Genesee County for many more years to come."

The following participants are graduates of the second annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy:

        Class Captains:      Paola Perez-Matos

                                             Drew Edwards

Alden Belknap                      Nicholas Burdick                    Jayden Doyle

Shawn Morabito                    Jack Falls                                Alexander Hunt

Aaron Spring                         Regan McPhee                        Gianni Vallese

Photos by Howard Owens.

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April 24, 2019 - 3:08pm

File photos and press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will be offering its second annual Teen Academy July 22 – July 26 at Byron-Bergen Central School.

“The Teen Academy is a one-week structured program which consists of instructional classes designed to provide high-school-aged students within our community an introduction to law enforcement training and gain an understanding of law enforcement’s role in their community," said Genesee County Sheriff Bill Sheron. "It is our hope that teens will build confidence while learning good decision-making and leadership skills."

Academy instructors are experienced Deputy Sheriffs who will discuss day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office.

Participants will also:

  • Visit the Jail, 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Dispatch Center, and Sheriff’s Office;
  • Observe displays of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), Hostage Negotiation, SCUBA Team, K-9 Unit and Evidence Recovery;
  • Be provided insight into motor vehicle accident reconstruction;
  • Participate in daily physical fitness runs, defensive tactics and team-building exercises;
  • Participate in a classroom setting and learn about the  NYS Penal Laws and Vehicle & Traffic Laws;
  • Participate in mock traffic stops and DWI procedures.

Qualified candidates will be selected for an interview screening process if they meet the following requirements:

  • Must be entering grades 10-12 in the fall;
  • Must be in good academic standing with little to no disciplinary issues;
  • Must be able to participate in physical fitness activities;
  • Must have a positive attitude;
  • Must have their parent’s or guardian's permission.

“This is a unique and forward-thinking opportunity offered by Genesee County Sheriff Sheron and Department," said Legislator Shelley Stein, chair of the Public Service Committee. "Teens are invited to immerse and be exposed to the real law enforcement experience.

"More than imagining, the academy opportunity is live, in-the-minute learning about today’s community policing needs of an exciting career in law enforcement. Students are encouraged to ‘try on’ a law enforcement career role."

There is no charge to attend the academy. Application deadline is May 10.

For more information, contact Deputy Matthew Butler at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3252, or (585) 494-1220, ext. 2304, or via e-mail at [email protected]

To learn more and/or download an application, visit here.

July 28, 2018 - 10:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Teen Academy, news, byron-bergen, Sheriff's Office.

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Luke Rindell is congratulated by Deputy Matthew Butler, middle, and Sheriff William Sheron during the graduation Friday of the first class to complete the new Teen Academy in law enforcement presented by the Sheriff's Office at Byron-Bergen High School.

Rindell was the only student in the 14-member class to score 100 on his final exam.

Below, a press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office about the academy:

“I am pleased to announce that the First Teen Academy was an extreme success," Sheriff William Sheron said. "The students were provided with the opportunity to experience the various roles of law enforcement in our community, and they eagerly embraced all aspects of the curriculum.

"I want to thank the students for their hard work and dedication and to all those that provided instruction throughout this weeklong program. A special thank you to the Academy Director, Deputy Matthew R. Butler, and deputies Chad P. Cummings and Deborah L. Snyder for their assistance and efforts in coordinating such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the students.

"We look forward to hosting the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy on an annual basis for students throughout Genesee County."

The following participants are graduates of the First Annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy:

  • Class captains -- Brandon Kowalski, Devon Reigle and Morgan Rhodes;
  • Zachary Babcock;
  • Cameron Buck;
  • Shaina Dejesus;
  • Bailey Faucett;
  • Ethan Pocock;
  • Luke Rindell;
  • Noah Toal;
  • Shawn Turner;
  • Gianni Vallese;
  • Alessandra Wolf;
  • Jayson Yauchzee.

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Previously: There's no slack in training for first group of students going through law enforcement Teen Academy

July 26, 2018 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Teen Academy, Sheriff's Office, news, notify, byron-bergen.

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Deputies are cramming a lot of police training into one week for the first Teen Academy hosted at Byron-Bergen High School by the Sheriff's Office.

In this one week, said Deputy Matthew Butler, the 14 students enrolled are covering the same material a cadet at a standard police academy must grasp in five-and-a-half months.

"I don’t want any student to come away and say 'that was nothing, it wasn’t tough,' or 'it was too easy, I didn’t get anything out of it,' " Butler said. "That’s why we’re trying to throw a lot of stuff at them so they get the most from the experience and see what it’s really like."

Each day, at 8 a.m., starts with physical training or PT, and students take turns leading PT. Police officers all need to have leadership skills and be able to communicate effectively and PT and marching in formation are a chance to practice.

Instruction from there includes classroom lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice.

Deputy Chris Erion has been out with K-9 "Destro"; Sgt. Jason Saile presented a crash management demonstration; there are tours of the jail and communications; and a chance to see how the scuba team and Emergency Response Team work.

Instruction includes defensive tactics, penal law, vehicle and traffic law, and crime scene investigation and evidence recovery.

Patricia Reeves led a DWI victim impact panel.

There is homework every night and a test tomorrow followed by graduation at 1 p.m.

“We’re giving them a real taste of what it’s like to be a police officer and what you have to go through in the academy to become a police officer," Butler said.

The Teen Academy was pitched to Sheriff William Sheron by Butler, who is the school resource officer at Byron-Bergen, after he had seen something similiar in Monroe County. This is the first teen academy in Genesee County.

The training is no-nonsense. Tuesday, during traffic stop training followed by felony stop training, deputies Ryan DeLong, Andrew Mullen, and Chad Cummings were quick to stop, correct, and lecture in a tone that didn't permit embarrassment but understood that is a lot to master even in a simple traffic stop.

Proper procedures, situational awareness, emotional intelligence, and observation are all critical in a traffic stop, which is both the most routine task in law enforcement and the one daily task most fraught with risk, both to officers and civilians. A good officer never grows complacent.

DeLong, Mullen, and Cummings demanded the attention of the students, and attention to detail, from how they approached the car, to where they stood while talking with the driver, which hand they used to grab and hold paperwork, and how they safely walked back to the patrol vehicle.

With the basics understood, the students who role-played as drivers and passengers could improvise their responses to the cadets, from denying wrongdoing to revealing they were licensed handgun permit holders and were carrying a weapon. Responses were critiqued and corrected.

On two consecutive "stops," the "deputy" didn't notice the passenger holding a handgun in his lap.

Mullen emphasized, when approaching a vehicle, you've got to see everything going on inside the vehicle. The weapon could easily be viewed even before an officer would reach the driver-side door. At that point, Mullen said, you fall back and radio for backup.

DeLong, Mullen, and Cummings then simulated a felony traffic stop, with Cummings assuming the role of the criminal suspect, and then the students took their turns at practicing the procedure.

Many of the students participating do anticipate a career in law enforcement, so that's why they signed up for the academy.

"I really want to go into law enforcement," said Morgan Rhodes, a senior at Notre Dame HS. "It interests me a lot. I’ve always wanted to do it and this is really helping me figure it out."

She's interested in solving mysteries, she said, "making it right" after a crime has been committed, and ensuring people follow the law.

She thinks she will start her law enforcement career in the military but hopes to become a deputy some day.

Devyn Reigle, who has been taking Criminal Justice courses at BOCES, is also considering starting his law enforcement career in the military. The academy, he said, was a chance to get a more hands-on grasp than his college class on what being a cop is all about.

"I've learned a lot more," Reigle said. "I've learned what to be aware of, that it's a lot more serious than you think, and to keep your eyes focused on everything."

Top photo: Deputy Chad Cummings in the role of suspect during a felony stop demonstration.

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Deputy Andrew Mullen with simulated pistol drawn while conducting a felony stop demonstration.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong during the felony stop demonstration.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong cuffing Deputy Chad Cummings.

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Gianni Vallese, a Byron-Bergen student, practicing a felony stop.

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Devyn Reigle taking Deputy Chad Cummings into custody.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong providing instructions on procedures for a traffic stop.

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Gianni Vallese conducting a traffic stop while Deputy Ryan DeLong observes.

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Devyn Reigle accepting paperwork from a driver during a practice traffic stop.

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Morgan Rhodes conducting a traffic stop.

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The inaugural class and some of the instructors of the Sheriff's Teen Academy at Byron-Bergen High School.

After the jump, more pictures of training submitted by Deputy Deb Snyder and Deputy Chad Cummings.

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