SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. | Lehigh Career & Technical Institute this week hosted the Allentown Police Advanced Youth Police Academy.
A group of 16 Allentown School District students spent Tuesday and Wednesday of the weeklong academy in LCTI’s criminal justice classrooms and labs. Along with Allentown police officers, the seventh- , eighth- and ninth-graders worked with LCTI instructors and students who volunteered to help out at the academy.
Students selected to attend the advanced youth police academy have expressed interest in criminal justice and participated last summer in a basic academy that provided an overview of police work, said Officer Jim Stanko, who organized the event. This year, those students got a closer look at all that goes into police work and more opportunities to join in hands-on activities.
On Tuesday, academy students practiced using police radios, took turns on a driving simulator, collected inked and latent fingerprints and learned how to handcuff someone. The kids learned about interrogation tactics, tried out facial composite software, collected blood evidence and tested their firearms judgment.
City police partnered with the school district to identify students who’d benefit from the academy, which is free for participants, Stanko said. In addition to providing kids with a fun, educational way to spend part of their summer, the academy serves as a career pathway introduction.
Students learn about policing through their interactions with officers and find out what it would be like to study criminal justice at LCTI, Stanko said. His hope is that, eventually, past academy participants will be eligible for scholarships from local colleges, he said.
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