Police Department is hosting a new
program to help young people learn more about the daily functions of the police
department. Its called the "Teen Academy". Saturday marks the
second week of a five-week course where more than a dozen young people will
learn about everything from gangs to drugs and criminal activity.
Some Albany young people can now learn more about what its like to
be a police officer. About 23 students are participating in the first ever
"The primary goal is to build a relationship between the
youth and the police officers. So that we can bridge that communication gap us
older officers have with the younger generation," said Cpl. Brian
Covington says the "Teen Academy" is like the Citizens Police Academy, but for young people. It's a five-week course, and throughout
the program officers talk to kids about different department leadership
"I learned a lot of valuable information in our teen academy.
I've seen a lot of things that I didn't know. I learned a lot of the process
our police officers go through to make sure our streets are safe," said
Othellious Cato, student.
"There learning about gangs. The do's and don't's. The in's
and out's of gang activity, and what goes on in the City of Albany. They're
learning about drug activity, the different types of drugs," said Cpl.
had a chance to hear from officers with
the Drug and Gang Units. Students say the "Teen Academy" is giving
them lots of insight on how the police system works for the better of the
"Touching the younger members of our community and letting
them know that the police department is here to help us and they're a positive
part of our community," said Cato.
Officers also talked about the consequences of crime.
"We go back to the old saying that each one, teach one. So
that's what we want them to do. We want each young student to know what it is
that we do and to go out and teach their counterparts who may be going the
wrong way," said Covington.
Students ranged in age from as young as 13 years old up to 18
years of age. Many of the participants are already taking criminal justice
programs in their schools.
All four Dougherty County Schools are participating, as well as
Albany Early College.
There are three more Saturday's to go in the program. The
Albany Police Department partnered with
Target Corporation for the Teen Academy.