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Academy brings youth closer to police, fire depts.
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LATHROP — When it comes to building a relationship with the community it serves, Lathrop Police Services wants to start with the youth. 

Next week the department will host the second session of its Lathrop Junior Police/Fire Academy at Lathrop High School — a session for incoming sixth graders through those who will moving on to high school who want to learn a little bit more about what goes on behind the scenes of law enforcement and emergency response. 

And the program has been successful in the past with students who want to pursue a career serving the public. 

According to Lathrop Police Sergeant Matt Lindemann, several past participants have gone on to become explorers for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and have plans on pursuing careers in law enforcement after enrolling in the police academy. Being able to provide that level of transparency, Lindemann said, helps bridge the gap between the youth of the community and the officers that serve them. 

“This provides a much more personal view on what the Sherriff’s Office does for the community and opens the eyes of people to understand what happens behind the scenes,” Lindemann said. “Sometimes in law enforcement there’s a stigma because people know why we do what we do, but this is an inside look at the day-to-day operations of the department and allows for a deeper level of understanding.”

In addition to classroom instruction, participants will take field trips to interact with officers serving in animal control services, boating safety and the San Joaquin County Jail. An interactive shooting range course designed to teach officers the tools necessary to make split-second decisions while on the street is also showcased, and the academy is being offered along with Lathrop Manteca Fire District which also be a stop. 

Those wishing to participate must maintain at least a C average in school and have no criminal contact with Lathrop Police Services. The second session will run from July 10-21, and classes will run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday. All classes will be held at Lathrop High School. 

A copy of the application can be downloaded or printed from the City of Lathrop’s website at, and more information is available by contacting Lathrop Police Services at 209.858.5551. 

Applications need to be submitted by Friday, July 7 in order to be formally considered.  


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.