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Free youth police academy applications due Tuesday

The inaugural class graduates from Decatur's Explorer Program

DECATUR, Ala.  – Tuesday is the last day for youth 14-17 to submit an application to be part of the 2018 Decatur Police Explorer Program.

Consider it a police academy for teenagers. It’s completely free and gives teenagers a close look at police work, and can help students get community service hours.

“It’s basically a summer course the lasts about 4 weeks and you go three times a week,” said DPD spokesperson Emme Long “You tour with different departments throughout the police department. Once you graduate,  you do community service with the police department, like traffic control or helping with parking.”

Applications can be picked up at the city hall, or from a school resource officer in the Decatur area, or you can fill one out online.

Detectives, investigators, patrol officers, and other law enforcement personnel will teach hands-on classes to give them an idea of the day-to-day lives of a real officer.

More than a dozen graduated as part of the inaugural class in 2017.

“They did everything from learning to dust for fingerprints with CSI to seeing how polygraph works, so really all the neat stuff they get to see at the police department,” said Long.

For any teen considering a career in law enforcement, it can be a great tool to get them ready to apply when they are old enough. But even for those with no interest in a career as an officer, it can help build trust between officers and the adults of tomorrow.

Decatur Police also welcome help from any business or sponsor with ideas or funds to support the program.