MANCHESTER – Manchester Township Police recently cheered on the third class to complete its Youth Police Academy program, which was held this year from August 14 to 17.
Led by School Resource Officer Christopher Cerullo, the 24 cadets from sixth, seventh and eighth grade took part in hands-on activities and demonstrations to learn about the characteristics of law enforcement and what it means to be a police officer.
“These cadets should be commended for the hard work they put forth into learning and demonstrating the principles of discipline, leadership, and dedication,” said Police Chief Lisa Parker in a statement. “I’m proud that these students decided to dedicate a week of their summer vacation to such a worthwhile program.”
In addition to learning the history of the Manchester Township Police Department, the youth cadets were also given a tour of the Ocean County Police Academy in Lakewood and spoke with cadets there, witnessed SWAT demonstrations at the Ocean County Fire Academy, and were taught the basics of physical fitness, first aid and traffic safety.
On the final day of Youth Police Academy, the cadets were treated to a K-9 demonstration by K-9 Officers Marc Micciulla and Steven Wendruff, along with their partners Storm and Lynk.
“We’re able to teach these cadets about what we as officers do on a daily basis, as well as to let them know that they should never be afraid to approach us to ask for help,” said SRO Cerullo in a statement.
A graduation ceremony and pizza party marked the end of a successful Youth Academy, as Captain Todd Malland of the Manchester Police spoke to the graduating class and they received graduation certificates in front of their friends and family members in the Municipal Complex Courtroom.
Other facilitators of the Youth Police Academy were Sgt. Mike Leming, Ptl. Joseph Reilly, Ptl. Keith Craig, Ptl. Patrick Cervenak, Ptl. Michael Steffen, Ptl. Chris Walaszek, Detective Adam Emmons, Detective Danny Barker, the Ocean County Police Academy, Ocean County SWAT and Manchester First Aid and Rescue Squad.