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Ripon program gives youth inkling of police work
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One of the junior cadets experiences first had the action of drinking alcohol on a behind the wheel motorist by wearing the special goggles that replicate the fuzzy focus that alcohol creates. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ Bulletin

A cadre of nine elementary school students completed the two-week advanced Junior Police Academy classes in Ripon learning the fundamentals of police work and seeing the challenges the officers face in their everyday activities.

Ripon Police Officer Trevor McGinnis taught the class. Several of the students attended the basic class prior to entering the advance scenario that included a visit to the firing range shooting at actual targets but using airsoft weapons.

In the DUI driving simulation, they donned special goggles that gave them the visual sight of someone under the influence of alcohol in several degrees of intensity.  While wearing the goggles they had to walk a white line in a nearby park, pick up a basketball and attempt to shoot a basket with most missing the hoop due to their fuzzy vision. 

The students walked over to the Ripon Consolidated Fire Department in the downtown where they took part in a CPR training session that demonstrated the new version of chest compressions only on their dummy victims. They learned how to make over 100 compressions a minute that resulted in their fatiguing quickly to underscore the need for a CPR partner to take over as they tired.

They also learned about the procedures and dangers of traffic stops by officers and the need to be cautious at every turn. They learned about radio traffic codes. They all were given T-shirts that were emblazoned with “Ripon Police JPA” insignias.

At the conclusion of their two weeks they were treated to a pizza party after their graduation ceremony where they received a certificate they could frame.  While all of the junior cadets do not plan on a career in law enforcement, there have been quite a few who have gone on to wear the badge.  Trevor Johnson is a former junior cadet and is who is now an officer for the City of Manteca.  Trevor’s dad Roger Johnson was an officer with the Ripon Police Department years ago.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email