"Teen Academy" makes impact on students - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

"Teen Academy" makes impact on students

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Albany 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 "Teen Academy."

"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.

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 roles.

"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. Brian Covington.

Young people 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 community.

"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.

 

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