High school juniors learn about life in law enforcement through week-long program
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. —
High school juniors getting the chance to experience life in law enforcement through a summer program at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center.
The Junior Law program invites 60 boys and girls from all over Nebraska to experience law enforcement by driving patrol cars and even going through firearm training.
Outside the training center it may look quiet but inside students are busy learning.
"My favorite thing has been driving the cars, but what really caught my attention at first was the forensic side of things. We did fingerprinting and I thought that was pretty cool," said Atkinson resident and Junior Law program participant Naomi Troy.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary this year, this program was brought to the Nebraska State Patrol by the American Legion to give students a deeper look into this career.
"First I thought it was going to be more of a boot camp so I was a little nervous like I mean they said barracks and all of this stuff. I thought are they going to slave drive me but no it's a very friendly environment and I enjoy being here,"said Troy.
Sergeant Cody Paro says they base the entire week on a day in the life of their NSP trooper recruits.
"They get the paramilitary style lifestyle, but then at the same time they get exposure to basically what our recruits would say is all of the fun stuff. They get to drive, they get to go to the range, they get to do fingerprinting, they get to see K9 demonstrations and helicopters. Just to give them an idea of all of the things involved with law enforcement," said Sergeant Cody Paro with the Nebraska State Patrol.
The program hoping to help these students find their passion in the field and give them a more accurate understanding of what their responsibilities would be.
"They've found that this is really 'wow.' They've based all of their opinions on Hollywood and what they've seen in movies and what not and not reality. Here we give them nothing but reality," said Sergeant Paro.
"Being here really opened my eyes to the process of becoming a state trooper, police officer or something of that sort. Since I'm enjoying what I'm doing here now, I actually think a future in law enforcement would be my option," said Troy.
The students will graduate the week-long program June 21 at 7 p.m.
If you're interested in signing up, you can contact your local American Legion.