Tyler Johnson, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (June 10, 2021) – The Rock Springs Police Department wrapped up its first week of this summer’s Junior Police Academy program on Thursday.
“It’s a great learning experience for the kids,” said RSPD Corporal Tony Hall, who is running the program this summer. “They get to learn, on a personal level, what police officers do on a day-to-day basis.”
Every year, the police department sends flyers and notifies families at local schools to get around a dozen 10 to 12-year-olds to sign up for the program. RSPD hosts two Junior Police Academy four-day sessions every summer.
The kids visited different law enforcement agencies and saw the different equipment officers use on a daily basis. On Wednesday, they visited the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office where they saw the armor vehicle, took a ride on a vehicle that’s used for search and rescue and saw the detective’s unit.
On the last day of the program, the kids met Finn the RSPD K-9 officer. They saw how K-9’s are able to sniff out drugs.
Hall said the kids also went through a live firearms demonstration and got to hear the flashbang go off. “They weren’t ready for it,” he said. “I told them it was going to be loud and they still all jumped.”
The kids also visited the Municipal Court and saw how the judicial system works. The visited the jailhouse where they ate a jail lunch, which ended up being a fish sandwich.
Hall hopes the kids in the program learn that police officers are normal people just like themselves.
“What I hope they gain from it is seeing police officers as real, everyday-life people,” he said.
“People that they can trust. People that they can talk to. People that they can report crimes to if they’re a victim or if something’s going on in their house. We just want to build a personal connection that way they’re not so nervous to talk police officers and standoff-ish.”
The second session for RSPD’s Junior Police Academy is June 22-25. While there aren’t any spots available for it, Hall hopes more kids sign up for next summer.