• 72°

65 Chambers County youth participate in Junior Police Academy

VALLEY — Approximately 65 local youngsters in the 5 to 11-year-old age group are enjoying their participation in this summer’s City of Valley Junior Police Academy. Sessions are taking place Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT at Valley Community Center. A graduation ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Friday in the Community Center’s Community Room. Everyone’s invited.

On Monday, East Alabama firefighters met with the youngsters to talk about their jobs and demonstrated what a fire truck can do. East Alabama paramedics talked about what they do and showed them one of their new ambulances.

Wayne Hadaway, the city’s animal control officer, talked to them about what he does and the importance of taking proper care of animals. The kids also learned about night vision and other tactical equipment available to officers.

Weather permitting, a LifeFlight helicopter is scheduled to land outside the Community Center on Wednesday, and the children were set to learn about the life-saving efforts of helicopter crews in getting injured people to the hospital. They also were to see a fingerprinting demonstration and to watch the operations of a drone.

On Thursday, representatives of Chambers County Juvenile Court will be there to have a mock trial. The Thursday session will conclude with some water play and swim in the Community Center pool.

“Children love this program,” said Lt. Sandra Crim, the school resource officer who directs the program. “Some of them are getting here at 7 a.m. every day even though we don’t start for an hour. Chambers County’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) provides them a healthy meal every day. B&W Heating & Air sponsored lunch today, the Grub Spot will do it on Wednesday and Big Momma’s Ice Cream will be treating them after water play.”

The Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) brought snacks and drinks, Coca-Cola brought bottled water, Powerade and Coke products. Givorns Foods also brought snacks.

“They are getting a good lunch every day,” Crim said. “It’s something they like.”

“They are taking part in arts and crafts activities this week,” Crim said. “On Monday they built a model of a police officer out of paper. They did some really creative stuff in dressing them up.”

Assisting Lt. Crim were K-9 Officer Keegan Daniel and Officer Loon Davidson from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, Cpl. Steven Doyal and Officer Lawrence Howell from Valley Police Department. Two teachers from W.F. Burns Middle School, Christen Doyal and Trina Green, also helped along with 14 volunteers from Valley High and W.F. Burns.

There’s a $30 enrollment fee. This helps send local officers to the National School Resource Officers Conference in Orlando, Florida.