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Twenty-seven kids graduate from program

By Staff
Special to The Standard
The third Class of the Youth Police Academy held its graduation ceremony on Friday, July 18, at the Brewton Civic Center honoring the 27 graduates. The Youth Police Academy was sponsored by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Brewton Police Department and Jefferson Davis Community College. The academy was designed for boys and girls ages 12-17 who had an interest in a career in Law Enforcement.
Students checked in on Monday, July 14 and stayed four nights at the dorms operated by the college and received the same type of training the officers receive in the adult Police Academy.
Officers from various departments conducted the training sessions. The students received training in crime-scene documentation, latent fingerprint technology, firearm safety &marksmanship, officer safety, traffic stop techniques, self defense and arrest techniques, report writing, alcohol and drug abuse education and enforcement techniques, special weapons (SWAT) techniques and equipment, canine utilization, law enforcement air support and many other topics.
Students were able to participate in a mock crime scene, where they were able to practice the crime scene documentation techniques they were taught. They were also taken to a firing range where they were able to shoot pistols and rifles that are carried by officers. Students also got to practice on the same physical agility course that regular officers must complete to be certified as a law enforcement officer.
Many officers from several different agencies assisted throughout the week. The following law enforcement agencies assisted with the program; Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Brewton Police Dept., Jefferson Davis Community College, Alabama Department of Public Safety, Escambia County Sheriff's Office (Florida), Monroeville Police Dept., 21st Judicial Drug Task Force, Atmore Police Dept., Alabama Department of Corrections, Escambia County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Alabama Beverage Control Board.
The academy does not receive any funding from local or state sources, so the cost of the program is paid by the attending students. To keep the cost down as much as possible, several local businesses made donations, including, Food Fair, Church's Chicken, Pizza Pro, Burger King, Fred's, Family Dollar, Wal-Mart and Pic-n-Save. Winn Dixie and Food Fair in Atmore also helped out with donations. The academy also received scholarships from the Kiwanis Club of Brewton, the Brewton Rotary Club and NDI of Brewton.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said that without the efforts of Captain Chuck McMullen and Officer Clair Sanborn from the Brewton Police Dept., the Youth Police Academy would not have been possible.
Plans are underway for next year's class and applications will be accepted starting in January.
Contact Captain Chuck McMullen at the Escambia County Sheriff's Office at 809-0741.