PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Thirty eight high school seniors from Westchester and Putnam counties graduated from the Westchester Youth Police Academy on Wednesday in a ceremony held at the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center in Purchase.
Pace University has been sponsoring the Youth Police Academy for several years. In addition to hosting the commencement, the university also offers Youth Police Academy students the opportunity to receive three college credits and earn a grade for the course.
To fulfill successful completion, students were required to write a research paper, take a final exam and make a presentation about a portion of the Youth Police Academy program.
Graduates, a third of which are female, participated in a 6-week regimen which included daily physical training, tactics, lectures on police issues and challenges, the use of force, probable cause, search and seizure, and various legal concepts.
Students also participated in CPR training, defensive tactics, interactive/scenario training, FireArms Training Simulator (FATS), a driving simulator, ride-alongs, vehicle and traffic stops, obstacle course, building searches, and mock trials. Tutorials in interview and interrogation skills are held, as well as demonstrations from the County bomb unit, K-9 Unit and Special Response Team and the ballistics laboratory were included in the graduates' course of study.
The Youth Academy “recruits” followed similar training of the many police officer-recruits who graduate from the Westchester County Zone 3 Police Training Academy every year.
The Youth Police Academy is an ongoing joint effort of several police departments in Westchester County, in which students learn the discipline of a paramilitary organization where chain of command and strict management of the ranks are required.