ROCHESTER — While the deadline is quickly approaching, there is still time for youngsters interested in law enforcement to sign up for the city's first junior citizens academy.
The academy, geared to area residents aged 14 to 20, will run Tuesdays between Nov. 5 and Jan. 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Spaulding High School. A bus will be available to transport middle school students to the high school during the class.
As of last week, 11 participants have signed up and there's room for more, according to Police Lt. Anne Gould.
"I would love to see up to 25 kids," Gould said. Potential candidates have until Oct. 31 to submit their names. Participants, who must pass a background check that includes a criminal records check, will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Preference will be offered to Rochester residents. Applications and Release of Information Authorization forms must be filled out and signed by a parent/guardian if the teen is under the age of 18, according to police.
"This is definitely an excellent beginning process for kids ages 14 to 20 to utilize as a gateway into a career into law enforcement," Gould said. "We will be encouraging all the participants to consider being part of the Rochester Police Department Explorer Post.
"Like the previous citizens police academies — which have been offered for adults — the department has hosted in the past, the focus is to better educate the public about what officers do, how it happens and why it serves the community, Gould said.
Police plan to hold classes about ethics, community policing, investigations and prosecutions, the use of technology, Internet safety and scams, traffic accidents, collecting and processing evidence, specialty units and lethal and nonlethal weapons.
As a culmination of the class, participants will be able to ride along with an officer to see how the skills are used to help serve the city, according to police.
Gould said she will also encourage participants to take part in the N.H. Chiefs of Police Cadet Training Academy — a weeklong, 24-hour academy for kids of the same age group, where she's been a staff member for the past decade.
For more information, contact Lt. Anne Gould at 330-7148 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.