By Megan Alley
Cadets from Clermont County’s 2017 Junior Police Academy were recognized during a graduation ceremony on June 23.
The JPA was held June 19 – 23. Pierce Township Police Department and several other local departments joined together to host the program, which was open to kids ages 13 – 17 years old.
The JPA covered basic law enforcement knowledge, and kids learned teamwork, respect, positive behavior, pride in one’s work and the resistance to drug and alcohol abuse, according to a press release.
The graduation event was held at Locust Corner Elementary School, located at 3431 Locust Corner Road. Pierce Township Police Lieutenant Edward Dye, who helped coordinate the JPA, led the event.
“We encourage absence from drug and alcohol abuse, good community interaction with your neighbors, just all around positive wellbeing for all the children,” Dye said.
He went on to speak about what made this year’s graduating class unique.
“It is their energy and their drive and their absolute commitment to teamwork,” he said. “They’re going to be outstanding police officers,” Dye said.
Amanda Fox, 16, an 11th grader at West Clermont High School, started attending the JPA last year.
She spoke about what inspired her to join the program.
“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a police officer, and it seemed like a good opportunity to get my foot in the door and get some experience, because we get to talk to actual police officers and do hands-on things,” Fox said. “It really gets you into seeing what they actually do. Not only do we get to see all the fun stuff, we learn about the actual hardships of being a police officer.”
Ethan Schulz, 15, a 10th grader at West Clermont High School, described why he joined the program this year.
“Well, my uncle is a deputy for the sheriff’s department, and I’ve actually had a lot of interest in doing this for awhile,” he said. “I heard about this at school.”
Schulz said he enjoyed all aspects of the program.
“I liked all of it to be honest,” he said. “I think it helped me should I actually become a police officer.”