Junior Police Academy has been sponsored by the Jefferson Township Police Department since 2004. Modeled after a real police academy, it offers children the opportunity to be fully immersed in police training for a week as they learn personal responsibility and accountability.
The 15th annual academy, headed by detective Joseph Kratzel, took place July 30-August 3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jefferson Township Middle School. The recruits, ages 11-13, were divided into Cadets (6th graders), Squad Leaders (7th graders), and Junior Instructors (8th graders). There is a limit of 78 participants with an annual waiting list.
The recruits started their days with physical training and then learned a different element of police life each day. Activities and lessons included visiting a juvenile detention center, an adult detention center, and Office of Emergency Management offices. There was a visit from the Morris County Parks mounted police and firearms safety instruction from captain Sean Conrad.
The following photo gallery depicts a morning at the academy with a visit with the mounted police as well as the recruits’ participation in physical training, classroom instruction, an obstacle course, and other competitions.
Click or tap photos to enlarge and read captions.