CYPRESS — After cancelling last summer’s Junior Police Academy due to COVID-19, the CFISD Police Department is bringing back the community event, which gives students a week of learning and activities while helping foster relationships between officers and their constituents.
Online registration begins March 22 for the Junior Police Academy. Two sessions will be held this summer: June 7-11 at Cypress Springs High School and July 26-30 at Cypress Ridge High School. The academy is a full-day (7:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.) camp experience for 9-to-11-year-old CFISD students.
Online registration will run until April 26 or until each academy session has reach capacity (32 students per week due to social distancing protocols). The cost is $100 and covers all expenses associated with the academy. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, with breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. each morning. Transportation will not be provided.
The inaugural academy in 2019 was a success, with 96 participants and included unique meet-and-greet opportunities from local public safety first responders. Police pilots and tactical flight officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety flew and landed a helicopter at each campus. Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department firefighters and paramedics showcased a firetruck, while members of the Cypress Creek EMS visited cadets and taught a hands-on lesson on tourniquets.
In addition to building relationships amongst officers, students and parents, the academy sets out to provide attendees with an introduction to law enforcement. Officers will serve as mentors with students, who will learn through classroom training and fun hands-on instruction and practical applications.
Daily educational topics include gang prevention, social media awareness and mapping skills. The department K-9 units will be utilized in teaching students about drug awareness. Physical fitness will also be emphasized throughout the week as attendees will complete an obstacle course.
“The Junior Police Academy builds relationships with students by allowing the students to see officers in a nontraditional role,” said CFISD Police Chief Eric Mendez. “Students are provided the opportunity to interact and participate with officers in activities while also learning about the law enforcement profession.”