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14 youth complete Ripon Police program
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Ripon Police Officer Trevor McGinnis stands with his Junior Police Academy cadets at the conclusion of their two week training session. - photo by GLENN KAHL

The Ripon Police Department hosted the Advanced Junior Police Academy for two weeks from July 7-18 18 with 14 cadets under the direction of Officer Trevor McGinnis.

Graduation activities were held at Stouffer Park last Friday at noon followed by a pizza party and certificates for the participants. Parents were on hand to witness the ceremony and take photographs of their children ranging from the fifth through the eighth grades.

The cadets were involved in mock high risk felony traffic stops and the basic DUI stops outside the police department. The cadets were taught the tactics in conducting the traffic stops and the importance of officer safety. 

The students also had a block of instruction in Drunk Driving Enforcement which comprised a lecture, demonstration of how to conduct Field Sobriety Tests and the operation of the (PAS) preliminary alcohol screening device.

“We then went to a local park where I had the cadets wear the fatal vision DUI goggles and they had to do a simple obstacle course simulating an intoxicated individual. This showed them how being impaired prevents people from performing simple tasks,” officer Trevor McGinnis said.

The cadet class went to the Community Center during the week and participated in investigative scenarios including “cold crimes” with no suspect present. The youth acted the roles of patrol officers contacting victims of various crimes and gathering pertinent information to write thorough police reports, McGinnis said. 

The Community Center was also used to perform building searches. The cadets, acting once again as patrol officers responding to a call, located an open door. They searched the facility looking for any suspects that might be lurking inside – typically their favorite activity in the program.

Another scenario involved going to the Ripon Fire Department where staff taught cadets basic first aid skills and they became certified in CPR. Other modules included classroom instruction on Internet safety and on cyber bullying prevention, school and juvenile specific crimes along with basic drug abuse signs and symptoms.

The 14 cadets in the program included two junior instructors Trina Pangelina and Roland Davis.

The other 12 students were Trinity McGinnis, Will Bremer, Aidan Moriss, Tony Aleman, Hunter Hadley, Nicollette Christel, Genevieve Maurice, Ashley LePage, Thomas Wright, Tyler Keenar, Steven Bunnell and Kylie Smith.