Weatherford Star-Telegram

Cadets can gain real life experiences at ‘new look’ Weatherford junior police academy

Weatherford police make ailing 11-year-old honorary reserve officer

Wilson Adams, 11, who is battling back after having a brain tumor removed, was made an honorary reserve officer by the Weatherford, Texas police department. “This is what I want to be when I grow up," he said. "I like the idea of protecting people.”
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Wilson Adams, 11, who is battling back after having a brain tumor removed, was made an honorary reserve officer by the Weatherford, Texas police department. “This is what I want to be when I grow up," he said. "I like the idea of protecting people.”

The Weatherford Police Department believes the future starts now.

The department is accepting applications for its 2019 Junior Police Academy (JPA), to be held June 24-29 for boys and girls entering grades 9-12 this fall and those who will graduate in 2019.

This year the academy, which began in the summer of 2015, will have a new look. Instead of two sessions held in a community building from 8 a.m.-noon, the classes will be held at the Weatherford Police Department headquarters from 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m.

Also, the previous academy was available to ages 10-14.

“This year we have completely re-written the curriculum, giving it a fresh new look,” said Weatherford PD School Resource Officer Allen Taylor. “The new curriculum will closely model an actual police academy. The junior cadets will get the experience of a real police cadet.”

Applicants need not live in Weatherford, and the academy is free. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. April 19, and all applicants must have parental approval. The applications will then be reviewed and 10 participants will be chosen and notified on May 20. Orientation is June 20.

Participants will be educated about public service, including law enforcement, emergency services, and the judiciary system. Daily programs will include educational presentations, interactions with public agencies, field trips, and physical activities.

“This is not going to be your typical summer camp. It will be fun, but there will be accountability and milestones put on each participant,” Taylor said.

Officer Paul Tumlin leads the WPD Explorers program for ages 14-21. He said his students will be assisting with the JPA.

“The Explorers will be an example of what is expected of the cadets, and hopefully provide the cadets with a point of contact should they seek to join the Explorer program in the future,” Tumlin said.

The junior cadets will be trained in penal code, firearms, self-defense, CPR, driving, traffic stops, DWI investigations, police ATV, and many other subjects. On the final day they will ride along with a patrol officer.

“This is the type of training that the junior cadet could possibly use for the rest of their life,” Taylor said.

“Our overall goal of this camp is not to prime kids to pursue law enforcement, but to learn life skills like leadership skills, confidence, and respect for themselves and others,” Tumlin said. “Spending time with our youth also gives officers an opportunity to learn about their everyday battles and stress so we can better serve them as well.”

Applications can be picked up at the Weatherford Police Department, 801 Santa Fe Drive, or printed from the WPD website https://ci.weatherford.tx.us/17/Police-Department.

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