Area Youth Experience What Its Like to Be A Police Officer
Meridian Township Police
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Meridian Township Police Officer Edward Besonen said, "the Youth Citizens Academy is an opportunity for kids, mostly high school students in Meridian Township and the surrounding areas, to come listen to or police officers tell them a little bit more about what it is we do."
Besonen agrees that this type of learning experience provides the youth with an inside peak into the operations of the department, one that the normal public would not receive.
During the 8 week course, students will receive lessons in areas including use of force, an area in which Officer Besonen finds to generate the highest number of student engagement, as well as crime scene investigation, k-9 operations, and traffic and alcohol enforcement.
The Youth Citizens' Academy is a subsidiary of the long running Citizens' Academy. Many of the students who participate in the program are high school students from schools around the township. Besonen stated, "I just think this is a great opportunity for both youth and adults to get that inside look and to hear from officers, especially at a time in our nation where there's a lot of controversy involving policing. It's nice for people to be able to come in and hear from us and get maybe a better understanding whether than just making judgments on their own as to the way we do things and the reasons why we do them."
The overall goal of the program is to inform young people about the police department and to foster positive relationships between officers and students.