For one week each summer, Monmouth County high school students with an interest in law enforcement receive intensive and rigorous police academy type of training.
Last Friday, at the conclusion of this summer’s Sheriff Youth Week, Sheriff Shaun Golden presented 140 graduates certificates recognizing their successful completion of the program which is based out of the Monmouth County Police Academy and provides high school aged students a unique opportunity to explore interests in law enforcement through police academy style training, exercise programs and instructional sessions.
“I’m proud of the entire Sheriff Youth Week class for staying the course and commend them for completing this intensive week of law enforcement training,” said Golden. “The program provides the graduates with an opportunity to explore the realm of possibilities of a career in law enforcement.”
Each day began with drill and ended with exercise. During the week, the class learned about various law enforcement topics and agencies. An overview of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Division, the 9-1-1 Communications Division and the Monmouth County Correctional Division was provided.
Presentations and interactive demonstrations included firearms safety and awareness, Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Monmouth/Ocean Certified Emergency Response Team (MOCERT) mock drills, a bicycle safety obstacle, K-9 demonstrations from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office tracking, narcotics and explosive teams, a Project Lifesaver demo and a display of the sheriff’s special operations vehicles. Overviews of the media and law enforcement, distracted driving, gang awareness, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management were also presented.
“This was a great experience,” said Montana Kienzlen, Atlantic Highlands. “We learned about all the aspects of law enforcement and what it takes to be a leader. I thank the sheriff’s office for providing me with this opportunity.”
“I’m grateful to have been a part of this program,” said Alistair Hall, Rumson. “It was tough, but I was challenged and learned what it takes to have a career in law enforcement.”
“We learned a lot the past five days. It provided us with discipline and through hands on experience we were able to see the different parts of law enforcement,” said Grace Natsis, Aberdeen.
There were also two major focal points of the week. On July 15, the recruits spent the day at Neptune High School. They learned about water safety and rescue at the Neptune Aquatic Center and participated in rock climbing and weights. On July 17, Jersey Shore University Medical Center provided them with a tour of the trauma unit and helipad and at Neptune High School’s SIM Lab they viewed a patient simulation with mannequins that simulate respiratory distress, coughing and other obvious signs and symptoms.
Mr. and the late Mrs. William W. Wingard, of New Jersey Gravel & Sand in Wall Township have been the sponsors of Sheriff Youth Week since 1992 and were acknowledged at the graduation ceremony for their dedication and commitment throughout the years.
The program is offered free of charge and and open to all Monmouth County residents of high school age – which means – just graduated 8th grade and going into high school in September, already in high school or just graduated from high school.
“Many of these graduates are the future of law enforcement,” said Executive Undersheriff Ted Freeman, creator and coordinator of Sheriff Youth Week. “If you don’t plant the seeds of this profession now, they may not consider it when they begin college.”