The Hudson Police Department has opened up its doors again this year to host the annual Hudson Youth Police Academy.
The academy, open to Hudson residents grades 6, 7, and 8, aims to teach youngsters about what it’s like to work a week in the life of a local police officer. Detective Crogan of the Hudson PD says what started off as just a fun way to interact with the community has now become a big hit.
“12 years ago, the school resource officer at the time, Officer Perry, thought it would be a good idea to start to make a connection with the youth. We take our police academy, the one we do for almost six months and we break it down to a 40 hour academy for the kids,” says Detective Crogan. “When it first started it was small, and now has really snowballed into something really big.”
This year’s class is so far 32% female, a big deal for the department that currently only has one female officer. The department has received such a large number of requests to join- a total of 70 in just over 24 hours-that last year’s waitlist hit over 40 people.
“We do motor vehicle stops, bring the state police canine in, have the State Police fly in with their helicopter, they land over at one of the schools and we bring the kids there, we talk about the importance of the SWAT team and pretty much what policing is and all the different aspects.”
How much does it all cost, you ask? The program is completely free-and Detective Crogan says the department plans to keep it that way.
Anyone interested in joining the Hudson Youth Police Academy June or July summer programs is encouraged to sign up now.