The Summit Police Department is announcing the conclusion of the thirteenth season of its 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. A total of 58 cadets graduated during two separate ceremonies which were attended by family members, Mayor Nora Radest, Police Chief Robert Weck, and various council members.
The following cadets, listed in alphabetical order, graduated from the 2017 Summit Police Youth Academy Session 1: Brian Axtell, Jeffrey Bello, Breanne Bowman, Fisher Cantone, Omar Cepeda, Nathan Cho, Carter Frey, Sebastian Gonzalez, Luke Harris, Bennett Harvey, Stephen Hofheinz, Joshua Kettles, Kealon Knight, Alexander Lee, Catherine Lees, Keith Mahatamachai, Felipe Muro, Kyle Navarro, Parker Nicholson, Gordon Oatman, Matthew Oatman, Nicholas Polivko, Olivia Reichart, Arianna Rodriguez, Jake Ruggiero, Lauren Sexton, Derek Schroeder, and Jack Zotti.
The following cadets, listed in alphabetical order, graduated from the 2017 Summit Police Youth Academy Session 2: Skyler Allen, Dorottya Balazs, Gergo Balazs, William Bermel, Rowan Carpenter, Madison DeGennaro, James Conigliaro, Mark Conigliaro, Robert Fisk, John Fix, Diego Huaita, Maire Jarebowska, Lucas Kohaut, Thomas Kohaut, Kaitlyn Marin, Brendan Melendez, Christopher Moglia, Marek Muzyka, Paula Navas, Dylan Orduz, Ryan Palacios, Jake Procaccini, Andrew Reyes-Cano, Nathaniel Roberts, George Rocano, Paul Rubinshteyn, John-Paul Scaramella, Jackson Staub, Devin Tapia, Rayan Verma.
Ranging in age from 11 to 14, the cadets experience the same types of drills and physical training that 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 utilized the same obstacle course used by police recruits, received unarmed self-defense instruction, and underwent firearms simulator training which demonstrates the split-second decisions that police officers must frequently make. The cadets also attended 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.
“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,” explains Summit Police Chief Robert Weck. “We are extremely proud of our graduates as well as the officers involved with the program. This year, 18 of our graduates participated in Summit’s National Night Out Against Crime on August 1, where they proudly wore their uniforms and demonstrated the drills they had learned.”
Chief Weck would like to thank the Academy’s Program Director Detective Sergeant Ryan Peters, Lead Instructor Police Officer Gerald McDermott, Head Drill Instructor Sergeant Charles Daly, Assistant Drill Instructor Lieutenant Richard Proctor, Assistant Instructors Police Officers Keith Kwiatek and Jeffrey Deets, Academy Secretary Pamela Ferreira, and former Youth Academy graduates Angeles Rivas and Anna Makedonska, who assisted the academy instructors.
The Summit Police Youth Academy is grateful to the John H. Stamler Police Academy, the Summit Fire Department, and the specialized Union County Units for their assistance. A special thank you goes to the Grand Summit Hotel for providing transportation to the Police Academy each and every year since the Youth Academy’s inception, as well as the Canoe Brook Country Club for the use of their golf carts during the Evasive Driving test.
For additional information on the Summit Police Youth Academy, please contact Det/Sgt. Ryan Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org (908-273-5871) or Pam Ferreira at email@example.com (908-277-9473).