Junior academy teaches police skills

Fourth year of camp engaging children in law enforcement work

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga.— The exciting work of police officers depicted on shows like “CSI,” “Bones” and “Cops” were averted for dozens of rising sixth-graders the week of June 10.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office hosted the Junior Law Enforcement Academy at Otwell Middle School in Cumming.

The weeklong day camp taught children what being a police officer is really like, said Deputy Courtney Spriggs, a spokeswoman for the office.

“They know it’s not just what they see on TV,” Spriggs said. “It is hard work, learning how to talk to people, teamwork and confidence. They get to meet the officers and the officers get to meet them, so they’re building bonds this week.”

This is the sheriff’s office’s fourth year hosting this academy for kids from middle schools all over the county.

“We started it to give kids a view in to what we do,” Spriggs said. “A lot of them—grownups even—have some misconceptions about law enforcement and what we do. This lets them do what we do hands on.”

Participants learned how to handle different situations like traffic stops and SWAT building clearing, and how to safely use firearms. One child will receive an award for being the best in each section.

Molly Moore is one of the rising sixth-graders participating in the academy. Moore said if she can’t be a veterinarian, she wants to be a police officer.

“I really like law enforcement. My counselor and grandma thought it would be a really great idea and something good for me,” Moore said. “It’s not like one of those big fancy camps—I don’t really like those. I like the ones that are simpler and more fun.”