May 9, 2019 9:37 pm
Updated: May 9, 2019 9:44 pm

Lethbridge students try out policing at Youth Police Academy

WATCH ABOVE: Local high school students are getting a first-hand look at what it means to be police officers. The fifth annual Youth Police Academy began on Thursday at Lethbridge Police Service headquarters. Jasmine Bala has more on the two-day program.

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High school students in Lethbridge are getting the chance to test out what it’s like to be a police officer.

Youth Police Academy, a two-day program, gives students hands-on experience in several different units, including forensic, tactical, K9, criminal investigation and traffic response. The Grade 11 and 12 students watched demonstrations on Thursday, getting some firearm training in the process.

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“There are lots of students here for different reasons,” Const. Mike Darby of the Lethbridge Police Service said. “[The] majority of them have an interest in policing. Some are not sure and they just want a chance to test drive it before they get their feet in too quickly.”

READ MORE: Cadets from 5 different agencies begin police training in Lethbridge

Thirty-four students applied for the program, each including a paragraph about why they wanted to join the academy in their applications. Only 20 out of the 34 were selected, including Taylor Althouse, a student at Chinook High School.

“My dad was a police officer,” he said. “I remember being really young and going to his graduation ceremony and ever since I figured out what he did, I’ve always wanted to be a cop.”

The second day of the program will be in Calgary on May 16, 2019. It will be a full day of training, lasting about 18 hours. The students, dressed in police uniforms equipped with duty belts, will travel to Heritage Park and run through scenarios that officers deal with on a daily basis.

READ MORE: Watch volunteers complete training, ready to patrol Lethbridge’s downtown starting May 1

For some students, the training doesn’t end at the Youth Police Academy.

“We have one cadet in our training class right now as a police officer who was a participant in this program five years ago,” Darby said.

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