MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Police Department wants to teach middle-schoolers about community policing.

The department is looking for applicants to participate to participate in its Junior Police Academy during the week of Aug. 26 through 30, for Maplewood students in grades 5 through 8.

"The Junior Police Academy will help show the participants how a police department functions and serves its community on an everyday basis," reads an announcement on the Maplewood Township website about the program. "It is very important for the young men and women to be able to see that the job of a police officer may be very different from what they may have seen on television or read on the Internet."

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Officers with the Maplewood Police Department are part of the L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) program, which aims to build relationships between students and officers in the elementary schools. They also participate in afterschool programs such as The Hub and The Loft.

The Junior Police Academy is a way for the police department to grow its bond with youth in the community, according to the department.

The announcement was posted on the township's website on Wednesday. Applications will be made available on Friday, April 12, at the dispatch window. Applications may also be accessed through the Police Department website, www.maplewoodpd.org.