SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is trying to promote knowledge of law enforcement and its career opportunities to kids in Central New York.
It is holding its fourth annual Youth Law Enforcement Academy this week next to the Jamesville Correctional Facility.
Students in grades seven through 10 begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. each day. They begin with physical training in the morning and then go through several classroom presentations.
Deputy Kathleen Kruger has been co-coordinating the program for three years. Many of the students are interested in a career in law enforcement or have family members in law enforcement, according to Kruger. That means she spends a large share of the classroom time answering questions.
“We really try to give them a very broad view of all the different career opportunities that are available in law enforcement, but we also try to infuse some fun,” Kruger said.
The fun includes field trips to the 911 center and the Jamesville Correctional Facility. The kids also get demonstrations from the K-9 unit, an evidence technician and a medical examiner.
Students also get to see police practice with riot gear, something Kruger said is important because kids have seen a lot of that on TV the last two years.
Kruger thinks police are often misunderstood and that if they can get kids to better understand their side of things, it will improve the relationship between police and youth.
“And the more that we can get across, like, the positive aspect of law enforcement,” Kruger said. “We’re all here for the same reason.”
Those interested can apply online on the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office website.