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Teens gradate from junior police academy
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A cadre of Manteca teens graduated from a week-long junior police academy in Ceres that taught the cadets everything from basic first-aid to the proper way to execute a hot stop at gunpoint and how to manage a shooting situation.

The Manteca Police cadets gathered in a classroom of the Central Valley High School in Ceres for their morning briefings at 7 a.m. before going into their scheduled classes that would continue until 4 p.m. each day.

They were taught three levels of law enforcement from basic first aid to traffic stops with guns drawn to various level of investigations — even to the point of following up prosecutions in a court room scene presenting their cases to attorneys.

The Explorers went through team building as well with other teens from Modesto Police Department, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, and Oakdale Police Department.

The teens were divided into three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced.  Police Chief Nick Obligacion and officers Mike Kelly and John Machado attended the graduation.

Kelly has been assigned to lead the student Police Explorers throughout the course of each year making sure they are given the opportunities to learn as much as possible about law enforcement on the city level — hoping some day they will become police officers in their own right.

“The Explorers are our future law enforcement officers,” Kelly said. “It is important to teach them the values of integrity and morality that are needed to become a police officer.

“I started as an Explorer in 1986 and I was mentored by some really good officers.

“I am where I am today because of the guidance of those officers. I enjoy teaching these kids so that someday they have the same opportunities as I have had over the years.”

The Explorers are used in a variety of assignments within the police department over the year depending on their level of training and expertise, including ride-alongs with Manteca Police officers working their beats within the city.

The uniformed Explorers are also seen working the downtown street fairs and Fourth of July events in support of the regular officers.

The Explorer Unit is open to teens from 14 to 20 at which time they may want to apply to a police department and attend the appropriate months-long academy.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email