On June 29, 2012, 23 Rahway children between the ages of 11 and 15 graduated from the eleventh annual Rahway Youth Police Academy, which is organized by the Rahway Police Department Juvenile Bureau. The Youth Police Academy is designed to provide young adults with a better understanding of the role of police in today’s society. Youth Academy “cadets” are exposed to some of the training, procedures, and technology utilized by police officers on a daily basis. Our goal is to develop a better rapport with the children in the community by breaking down the barriers that exist between police officers and teens.

During the week long course, participants tested their physical agility by participating daily in two hours “PT” (physical training), which consisted of pushups, sit ups, running, and a variety of other physical agility tests. The cadets also were exposed to many areas of law enforcement such as accident investigation, and crime scene investigation.. The cadets also were educated in areas such as alcohol and drug awareness, gang awareness, K-9, Bomb Squad, Internet Safety, and sports and water safety. The session culminated in a graduation ceremony held at John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains. The cadets were recognized for their dedication and hardwork during the week, and parents were able to view a slide show aptly named, “A Day in the Life of a Rahway Police Youth Academy Cadet.” Each cadet was required to submit an essay detailing their experience during the week. Some of the comments from the essays included, “Being in the Youth Academy made me feel confident…when I wanted to quit, I kept on going. I feel I have better self-discipline.”; “Overall, this program did wonders for me in terms of setting goals and pushing myself to achieve them.” ; “This academy made me feel proud and confident. I feel that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. This experience has shown me that being a strong and positive person is cool!”