The Lakewood Police Youth Academy proudly announces the successful completion of its immersive 5-day program designed to provide 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students a firsthand experience of the life and responsibilities of a police officer. The program, held from August 14th to August 18th, saw 46 enthusiastic cadets graduate, marking a monumental step towards fostering stronger community connections.
Throughout the week, cadets had the unique opportunity to explore various aspects of law enforcement and emergency response, equipping them with valuable skills and knowledge. The curriculum included essential lifesaving techniques such as introductory CPR and The Heimlich Maneuver, ensuring that these young participants have the tools to respond effectively in critical situations.
The Lakewood Police Youth Academy went beyond the classroom, arranging engaging activities highlighting the vital roles played by different first responders. Cadets were treated to eye-opening tours of the Lakewood police department and were thrilled to partake in captivating demonstrations by the Lakewood Fire Department, Lakewood EMS, the Lakewood Special Response Team, and the Lakewood Water Rescue Team.
The excitement continued as the State Police Aviation Unit landed their helicopter, allowing cadets to interact with troopers who provided insight into the unit’s operations. The presence of the Ocean County Sheriff Department Mounted Unit and Lakewood K9 Officers showcased the multifaceted nature of law enforcement work. A trip to the New Jersey State Police Museum proved enlightening, giving cadets a historical perspective on the law enforcement field.
With safety and preparedness in mind, cadets participated in simulated firearms training, evasive driving techniques, and an educational session on stranger danger. The week culminated in a rigorous Physical Training test that evaluated the cadets’ physical endurance and resilience, an achievement they had been working toward under the guidance of dedicated PT instructors.
Building on this comprehensive curriculum, the program also included a dedicated military etiquette component. Cadets participated in a military-style etiquette program, immersing themselves in the basics of marching and its underlying purpose. This additional dimension aimed to develop teamwork, discipline, and a deeper understanding of the structured organization, further enriching their experience.
The graduation ceremony at the Historic Lakewood Amphitheater on August 18th celebrated the accomplishments of the 46 cadets who completed the program. The Lakewood Police School Resource Officers, Stephanie Mahone, Daniel Merrill, and Mike Del Valle, are applauded for their commendable efforts in organizing and overseeing this impactful initiative.
The success of the Lakewood Police Youth Academy would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our sponsors. The Lakewood PBA & SOA, Wawa, Jersey Mike’s, Gourmet Glatt, Ippolito’s Pizza, Michael Inzelbuch, A+ Letter Service, Jersey Shore Blue Claws, Sodexo, and La Casa de la Tia selflessly supported the program, making it a resounding triumph.
The Lakewood Police Youth Academy stands as a testament to the commitment of law enforcement to foster stronger relationships with the youth and communities they serve. By providing a comprehensive and engaging experience, the academy empowers the next generation with a firsthand understanding of the dedication and sacrifices that come with wearing the badge.
SPONSORS: Gourmet Glatt/IG, Gourmet Glatt/FB; Jersey Mikes Brick Plaza/IG, Jersey Mikes Brick Plaza/FB; Wawa North/IG, Wawa North/FB; Jersey Shore Blue Claws/IG, Jersey Shore Blue Claws/FB; A+ Letter Service Inc./FB; La Casa De La Tia/FB; Sodexo/IG, Sodexo/FB; Ippolitio’s Cucina Italian Pizzeria & Catering/IG, Ippolitio’s Cucina Italian Pizzeria & Catering/FB.