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Latino Youth Academy boasts high interest six years running

The Madison Police Department and area law enforcement continue a six-year tradition this week by once again inviting Latino youth to a week-long academy – but the invitations hardly need to be sent after enjoying years of robust interest from the Latino community.
“I hate to turn kids away, but often we hit capacity quickly,” said Lt. Lori Chalecki who once again spearheads this year’s academy at the Madison Police Training Center. “We are very lucky in Madison to have such an interest in what we do as officers and as leaders in the communities we serve. Our hope is that these students will be those future leaders and have a fuller understanding of the challenges officers face.”
Each year the interest has increased, with this year boasting the highest number of applicants yet, according to Lt. Chalecki.
The kids are offered a full week of activities, scenarios and demonstrations in which area officers explain and coach the kids in police work, leadership and life skills. Agencies partnering with the Madison Police Department to hold the academy include the Fitchburg Police Department, Sun Prairie Police Department, Middleton Police Department and the 115th Fighter Wing. The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County is also providing transportation for some of the kids.
The academy will run through August 26th and culminates in a graduation party held at the Fitchburg Community Center.
“Although this academy started with a government grant, the Madison area has come together to continue this opportunity for kids to engage with officers and learn about what we do year after year,” said Lt.Chalecki. “The graduation ceremony every year is a testament to the strong and supportive Latino community and is as much fun for the officers as it is for the students and their families.”
Topics at the academy include: traffic stops, leadership and followership, fingerprinting, law, interviewing, use of force, report writing, goal setting, building clearing, problem solving, forensic casting, fitness and using the driving simulator. Demonstrations include K-9, Mounted Unit and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).


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