SUMMIT, NJ - The largest group to date has graduated from the Summit Police Department's Youth Academy, an increasingly popular program designed to provide area youth with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the role of the police officer.
This year, a record 59 cadets graduated from the July and August sessions in ceremonies attended by family members, Mayor Ellen Dickson, Police Chief Robert Weck and various members of the Common Council.
Ranging in age from 11 to 14, the cadets experience the same types of drills and physical training that the men and women receive in today’s police academies. In addition to receiving overviews of criminal investigations, evidence recovery and patrol tactics, the cadets are provided with hands on scenario training in which they process crime scenes, conduct high risk motor vehicle stops and even have an opportunity to experience some of the difficulties of emergency vehicle operation by driving golf carts alongside their instructor.
During their visit to the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains, the cadets utilize the same obstacle course used by police recruits, receive unarmed defense instruction and undergo firearms simulator training which demonstrates the split-second decisions that police officers must frequently make. The cadets also attend demonstrations from various specialized units that are available to law enforcement, such as the Union County K-9 Unit, SWAT team, Bomb Squad and the Summit Fire Department.
Weck commented that “the mission of the Summit Police Youth Academy is to familiarize our area youth with the role of the police officer and provide them the opportunity to learn respect for the law, personal responsibility and the importance of teamwork, all through positive interaction with local police officers and exposure to the challenges of responsibility of police work. We believe that we are accomplishing this year after year and are
extremely proud of our graduates as well as the officers involved with the program.”
Weck thanked Detective Matthew Buntin, the Academy’s program director; Pamela Ferreira, Academy secretary; Officer Gerald McDermott, lead instructor; Officers Kathy Maggiulli, Ryan Stanek, and Paulo Santos; Auxiliary Officers Sandro Reyes and Jessica Diaz; police intern Gregory Vartan and volunteer and Youth Academy graduate Ali Hoesly.
Weck said the Summit Police Youth Academy is grateful to the John H. Stamler Police Academy, the Summit Fire Department and the Union County specialized units for their assistance. The Grand Summit Hotel has provided transportation to the Police Academy every year since the the Academy’s inception.
July graduates included:
George P. Koniaris
Louis Steven Lizano
Michael Poyner, Jr.
Paula Maria Silva
August graduates included:
Daniel J. Cambronero