Inaugural police youth academy deemed success in Manalapan

MANALAPAN – More than 40 teenagers who have an interest in law enforcement had the opportunity to pursue those interests when they attended the first Manalapan Police Youth Academy.

The Manalapan Police Department offered the program from July 22-26 for young men and young women between the ages of 13 and 16. The program offered police academy style training, instructional classes, physical fitness and drill.

The academy was organized by Sgt. Robert Herring and Patrolman Kyle Earley and took place at Manalapan High School.

In an interview on July 31, Earley reported that 43 teenagers graduated from the program the previous weekend. He said 37 participants were from Manalapan and six participants were from neighboring communities.

The officer said the highlight of the week was the participants’ visit to and tour of the U.S. Coast Guard station on Sandy Hook in northern Monmouth County. The teenagers also visited the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office STARS (Situational Training and Response Simulator) facility.

Classroom instruction included information about the effect of alcohol and drugs on an individual and the dangers of vaping. Agents from the FBI and from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discussed their careers, and a New Jersey State Police bomb detection dog and handler demonstrated their skills, Earley said.

“The participants liked the variety of speakers who came in and the hands-on activities we did. They gained a lot of knowledge from representatives of the different agencies. I would like to thank Police Chief Michael Fountain for allowing us to start this program and Mayor Susan Cohen and the Township Committee for their support,” Earley said.

Daily activities at the police youth academy took place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day included drills in the morning, physical training in the afternoon and classroom instruction.

The sponsors of the police youth academy were Wegmans, Happy Day Farm, Manalapan PBA 229, Mezza Luna, Molino’s, Brooklyn Square Pizza, Uncle Gino’s Market, Rita’s Italian Ice, 4 Boys Ice Cream, Yorktowne Social Club, Walk With Joe, the Niebling family, the Thompson family, Safe ID Card Systems and TOTville Manalapan.

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