By Nina Johnson
The Carmel Police Dept. partnered with Carmel High School to host Teen Academy June 24 through 28 with a full roster of 32 cadets comprised of local 13 to 18-year-old students.
“It’s a public relations program geared toward getting the youth involved and an understanding of what law enforcement involves,” said Det. Phil Hobson in a promotional video on the city’s website.
Sgt. Nancy Zellers of Criminal Investigations pointed out the academy also “fosters good relationships with our city’s teenagers” and develops leadership skills.
“We find about 50 percent of the students (in each session) are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement,” said Lt. Jeffrey Horner.
Daily sessions included physical training designed to give students a feel for authentic recruit training.
“Physical fitness is an important, and evolving, aspect of law enforcement,” Hobson said.
Students learned formation drills and how to march in cadence.
“Almost everyone enjoyed the group activities and games,” Horner said. “However, a surprising number enjoyed the drills and marching.”
Emergency response team members displayed equipment such as ghillie suits, ballistic shields and forcible entry tools. Students learned defensive tactics and applied them in simulated building searches and traffic stops.
Because students requested more information about K-9 units, sessions now include live demonstrations of police dog training.
Another activity involved students wearing “Fatal Vision” goggles while attempting to tricycle through an obstacle course.
“We try to give them a simulation of the effects of alcohol on the body,” Hobson said.
Chief Michael Fogarty commended the academy for “building character, teamwork and camaraderie” among students. The final day included a graduation ceremony and Abuelo’s-catered dinner attended by family members. Students received completion certificates and some were recognized with leadership awards.