BPD to host Youth Police Academy this summer
Friday, 20 April 2012 by Justin Cox
The Belton Police Department is once again teaming up with the Belton Independent School District as they will host a Youth Police Academy this summer.
The one-week course is modeled after the successful Belton Citizens Police Academy and encourages the participating children to come and participate in experiencing the role of a police officer in a fun, controlled environment.
The course helps foster a sense of community between police and their young participants, said Sergeant Larry Berg, who heads Belton's detective division, and who will help coordinate the course activities.
"It's an opportunity to learn about what the police department does, learn about the academy, and tell their friends about it," Berg said. "It's as successful as our citizen's police academy, and really gets the word out about what we do. It allows us to see the citizens in a different light. And it's nice when people take an interest in what you do."
This is the second youth police academy; since Berg and the Belton Police had such success with it last year, they decided to bring it back, and he expects it to be an annual event in the years to come.
"It's a different focus than last year's, but with the success of it, people want to get their kids involved in it," Berg said. "It continues to be successful, and I can see it evolving - it's ever-changing — we always try to improve on it. We haven't had many dislikes — the K-9 display, we make the crime scene processing interesting. They see some of that stuff on TV, and so they make the correlation to something fun and engaging in the course."
Some of the activities the children will participate in include tours of squad cars, mock building searches and traffic stops, criminal investigations and mock crime scenes, fingerprinting, K-9 and search and rescue operations, SWAT operations, defensive tactics and a tour of the Bell County Jail and Communications offices.
Visit www.beltontexas.gov to find the application online; applications will be accepted until May 1.