SPARTA, NJ - The Sparta Police Youth Division held its annual Junior Police Academy this past week at the Sparta PAL Building. The 22 graduates will join the already 116 members of the Sparta Police Youth Division.
The youth division was established in 2013 in response to the heroin epidemic that is now present in our community. In 2012, Sparta Township saw 29 of its residents overdose on the drug and seven of them die as a result.
Sgt. John Paul Beebe said, "It is our hope and belief that by educating our youth by telling them the cold hard truth, sometimes in graphic terms and visuals that they will avoid the anguish and destructive results by never involving themselves in this drug culture in the first place. By educating them in this manner, members of the Sparta Township Police Department are confident that these young role models by their actions and the positive way they have chosen to live their lives will help their peers to also make the right decisions the first time.
"Special thanks to Patrice Reilly and Becky Carlson from the Center for Prevention & Counseling in Newton for partnering with the Sparta Police Department to help the youth of our community. Melissa Kipp for all her assistance, Sussex County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Officer, Det. Kieran Morrow, K-9 Atlas and K-9 Kilo. Sgt. John Lamon, Cpl. Brian Hassloch and Cpl. Susan Parkes. Sparta Police Chief Ernest Reigstad and Lieutenants Joseph Schetting and Neil Spidaletto for assisting in developing this program."
If your child missed the junior academy this past week, the youth division will begin holding their monthly meetings starting in October. For more information; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 973-726-4050. These meeting are open to all fifth graders and up. Parents are encouraged to attend.