A new group of local teenagers has completed a program designed to give them a look inside the world of law enforcement.
The Clarkstown Police Youth Academy is a 10-week program that puts local high school students through training similar to what they would receive at an actual police academy, including defense training and accident investigation. The program has been in existence in Clarkstown for 11 years, over which time several hundred students have graduated.
Some of these students have then gone on to be police officers themselves, according to Sgt. Nicholas Lafasciano of the Clarkstown Police Department.
“At least they can understand a little bit about police work, and once in a while you get a student who’s on the fence, ‘Would I like to be a police officer or not?’ so hopefully exposure to this might help them make their decision down the road,” Lafasciano said after a graduation presentation Tuesday night at the Clarkstown Town Board meeting in Town Hall in New City.
Lafasciano, along with Clarkstown Chief of Police Michael Sullivan and Patrol Captain Robert Mahon, were on hand to give the graduates their certificates. This spring’s class featured 21 students from Clarkstown North High School, Clarkstown South High School, and Nanuet High School, and the School Resource Officers from each of those schools were also on hand to congratulate the graduates.
“[The biggest thing I took away from the program was] just the skills that are needed to become a police officer and what kind of professional you have to be to become a police officer,” said Kurt Lauen, a graduate of the program who attends Clarkstown North High School, after the presentation.
The graduates of the class are: