Academy deadline extended

Published 8:59 pm Saturday, February 8, 2014

The deadline for applications for the Youth Public Safety Academy has been extended to Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. because of school days lost due to snow.

The academy, a 10-week after school program focused on at-risk youth between the ages of 13 and 17, begins on March 6.

Participants gain hands-on experience of what it’s like to be a police officer, firefighter and crime scene investigator. Youth are mentored by Suffolk police officers and firefighters while experiencing the value of teamwork, discipline and social responsibility.

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Each week, students are exposed to service learning, teaching them that they can make a difference in their community. With the assistance of the mentors, students will design and implement a community-oriented program. The goal of the program is to provide positive role models, build interest in public safety professions, learn to respect themselves and others and increase confidence by expanding experiences.

The program will begin with orientation on Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. at Suffolk Fire Station 6, 300 Kings Fork Road. The student and one parent or guardian must attend.

The first class will be held on March 6, and classes run each Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be no classes the week of Suffolk Public Schools’ spring break, April 14-18.

A graduation celebration will be held in late May for all students who successfully complete the academy.

The City of Suffolk Parks & Recreation Department provides transportation to and from the program. Youth will be picked up from their schools and transported to the King’s Fork Public Safety Center on Kings Fork Road, where the academy is held. Meals and snacks are provided at each session. Youth will be transported home by bus unless a parent wishes to pick the youth up themselves.

There is no cost to participants for the program. Applications are available from school resource officers; the King’s Fork Public Safety Center located at 300 Kings Fork Road; Suffolk Police Headquarters located at 111 Henley Place; Suffolk Parks and Recreation offices; and juvenile intake.

Applications also may be obtained by contacting Fire Investigator Pam King at 514-4542 or Detective Joyce Williams at 514-7942.