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Youth Get Close-Up View Of Law Enforcement At JPA
The Junior Police Academy last week was a success, giving youth in the area a chance to interact with law enforcement officers. Photo Contributed
This Junior Police Academy student had the unique opportunity to try out some S.W.A.T. gear. Photo Contributed
The students got to experience fingerprinting during the Junior Police Academy hosted by Riverbank Police Services. Photo Contributed

The youth in the area had a detailed glimpse of the job of a law enforcement officer during the Junior Police Academy, presented this past week by Riverbank Police Services in Riverbank. The annual academy is a week-long course for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders that was filled with informational materials, relationship-building and a unique hands-on experience.

The Academy was hosted by RPS and led by Community Services Officer Ana Caballero and Community Resource Deputy Xiong. There were 14 students on the scene working with and learning from deputies through a number of activities like a traffic stop, fingerprinting, and crime investigation.

CSO Caballero expressed that the students had a blast during the academy.

The students attended the academy from 8 a.m. to noon and each day had something different to experience along with class time that involved report writing and study sheets of the 10 codes, vehicle codes, and penal codes.

On the first day RPS Chief Ed Ridenour spoke to the class and the students had a tour of the police substation.

Deputy Xiong noted that the students were presented with a crime on the first day and tasked with investigating it all the way through using the skills they were taught. On the final day of the Academy the students presented their report to the class of their investigation of the crime.

“They had the opportunity to conduct a traffic stop and were able to communicate on the radio,” stated Xiong. “The students had the chance to retrieve fingerprints from items, and they enjoyed it.”

The next day the students traveled to the Riverbank Community Center to witness the teamwork from the department’s K9 and his handler.

They had a chance to interact with members of the specialty teams including S.W.A.T., Drone, Dive Unit, Air101, and the Bomb Unit. They rode in the armored S.W.A.T. vehicle and interacted with the bomb unit robot.

“The students enjoyed the specialty units,” said Deputy Xiong. “The students liked the hands-on activities. The turnout was excellent, with 14 students from all over the county.”

Family members were invited to the graduation on Friday where students received a certificate, Riverbank Police patch, and a challenge coin. They were also treated to pizza donated by Pizza Plus in Riverbank.

Attendees at the Junior Police Academy got to see the K9 Deputy in action during a demonstration. Photo Contributed