FREEHOLD, NJ - It was not an ordinary week of summer camp for the 77 recruits who participated in the 19th annual Sheriff Youth Week, from July 11 to July 15. The challenging program, held at the Monmouth County Police Academy, provides high school aged students a unique opportunity to explore interests in law enforcement through police academy style training. “It’s been a great experience,” said Jesse Smith of Atlantic Highlands. “I learned a lot and Sheriff Youth Week has made me realize that I want to pursue a career in law enforcement.”
Each day began and ended with one hour of exercise and drill. During the week, the recruits learned about various law enforcement topics and agencies. Presentations included overviews of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Division, the 9-1-1 Communications Division and the Correctional Division.
Additional presentations were conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, women in law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Also featured was a crime scene investigation presentation where students learned about forensic science, CSI style, from a forensic crime scene specialist.
A major focal point of the week was the firearms safety demonstration which was held at the Monmouth County Fire Academy. The presentation included a tour of the facility and provided the youths with a demonstration on how law enforcement officers train safely and effectively on the range. Other interactive demonstrations included a bicycle patrol training, a K-9 presentation and a helicopter demonstration.
Fifty Five of the recruits also participated and completed the Sheriff Youth Week 5K challenge, which equaled thirteen laps around the police academy. “I commend all of these fine young men and women who endured an intensive week of law enforcement training,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “Sheriff Youth Week has provided participants with valuable insight and from this class will come law enforcement professionals and leaders of tomorrow.”
Sheriff Youth Week concluded on Friday after a formal graduation ceremony with honored guests Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the former sheriff of Monmouth County, and Mr. and Mrs. William W. Wingard, of New Jersey Gravel & Sand who sponsored the event.
The 19th Sheriff Youth Week class is the largest to date.