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.

Photo Gallery:

Click or tap photos to enlarge and read captions.