Fourteen teenagers from the Chatham County Youth Commission graduated from summer camp Friday after spending three days seeing the other side of police work first hand. The Youth Police Academy was the first time Savannah- Chatham Metropolitan Police had partnered with the commission to show teens from the area how police go about their daily activities.
Participants accompanied officers on firearms training, defensive tactics training, special operations including SWAT, Dive Team, K-9, Aviation, Marine Patrol and Traffic.
The camp was based at the SCMPD training center at Savannah Mall but took place in police facilities across the jurisdiction.
“The purpose was to show our youth what it takes to be a police officer and serve this community,” said Police Chief Willie Lovett. “Hopefully, the program will help build a relationship with future leaders of our community.”
City Alderman and Youth Commission Director Van Johnson, who asked police to organize the camp, said, “it’s important to expose young people to law enforcement in ways they have not seen before. Too often, their introduction to police is threatening. This gives them an opportunity to understand that police are here to protect and serve them. Hopefully, one day, some of them may become a law enforcement officer.”
The participants were presented with graduation certificates at the closing ceremony at the mall, Friday afternoon.