BTC to host mini police academy for kids

The Basic Law Enforcement Academy of Blackhawk Technical College is teaming with the Stateline Boys and Girls Club to present two mini police academies this summer that will introduce club members to some notable aspects of local law enforcement.

The academies, which will be held on June 22 and July 27 as part of the club’s regular summer activity program, is in response to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing intended to address community policing and crime reduction.

“This project gives our police recruits an opportunity to become familiar with resources within their communities and build relationships with those who operate those organizations,’’ said Kristen Devitt, Law Enforcement Coordinator of the Public Safety Division at Blackhawk.

Club members will open the day long activities with a “getting to know you” session when they will meet local law enforcement officers to learn about their job duties. They will observe a 30-minute demonstration of the Rock County Sheriff Department’s K9 unit and attend a public safety vehicle rodeo where they will get to see and ask questions about squad cars, tactical vehicles, motorcycles, fire trucks and ambulances. The day’s activities also include a hands on experience in learning the skills of evidence collection and handcuffing.

The sessions will conclude with a graduation ceremony during which the participants will receive a certificate acknowledging their attendance at the academy.

“It was our hope to start a program where young kids would meet law enforcement officers within their own community and begin to build relationships with them,’’ Devitt said. “And looking at the long-term effects, this may spark their interest in a career in law enforcement and help support efforts to create a more diverse law enforcement workforce in our communities.’’

For more information on registering for the club’s summer activities, including the mini police academies, contact the E.J. Dalton Beloit Boys and Girls Club, 1851 Moore St., Beloit, at (608) 365-8874. The website is www.statelinebgc.org.