JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Johnson City Police Department is opening its doors for the newest batch of future recruits this summer.
Students from 15 to 18 years of age that are in good academic standing can join the Junior Police Academy program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 17-20 at the Rick Collins Police Training Complex.
“We like to kind of showcase our police department for those that have got an interest in maybe a career,” Erik Hilton, an officer with the department, said. “Outside of what we see as a patrol officer or an investigator… Things they might see on TV but not know what it’s about.”
Involved students will experience a wide variety of what police work may look like, Hilton said.
“Things like our K9 program, our SWAT team, we have bicycles, EOD which is our bomb squad, or hostage negotiation” Hilton said. “So there’s a lot of different things that people might not always understand what we do.”
The course culminates in a mock crime scene that lets students test out their new skills. Even if the course doesn’t result in a new career path, Hilton said the lessons are still valuable.
“I hope somebody would come away with a little bit deeper appreciation about what we do for the community,” Hilton said.
The program is open to any teen with transportation and good academic standing. Hilton said some class members eventually go on to join a law enforcement agency later in life.
“We hope it’s a stepping stone,” Hilton said. “It can be a little bit of a recruitment tool, we’re always needing good men and women to come and apply.”
Those interested in attending can call 423-434-6125 to join.