Grinnell Interim Police Sergeant Ben Smith, back left, Grinnell Police Chief Michael McClelland, back right, and Officer Jon Soubayi, front left, pose with the participates of the first ever Student Police Academy at the Grinnell Police Department. Seven area high school students participated and graduated from the eight-week course.
By J.O. Parker
Seven area high school students recently participated and graduated from the first ever Student Police Academy at the Grinnell Police Department.
Grinnell Interim Police Sergeant Ben Smith led the eight-week course with Grinnell Police Chief Michael McClelland and Officer Jon Soubayi.
“We held this to give high school students an opportunity to see what police work was all about,” said Sergeant Smith. “The students not only learned about what we do as police officers, but also received hands-on training and learned about the ups and downs of a career in police work.”
Topics covered were: drug investigations, firearms - shoot/don't shoot scenarios, uniforms and equipment, use of force/less/lethal, operating while intoxicated/field sobriety, traffic stop scenarios, criminal law/testifying in court and criminal investigations.
Guest Speakers were: Grinnell Fireman Todd Zell, Poweshiek County Deputy - K-9 Handler Matt Maschmann, Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver, Sergeant Smith, Sergeants Dan Johnson and Matthew Moore, Officers Nathan Anderson, Holly Coogler, Heath Jepsen, Zachary Sittig, Jon Soubayi and Chief McClelland.
GPD had held citizen’s police academies in past years and Sergeant Smith said the department was looking for a way to get more youth involved in police work.
“We are adding this as a new program and possibly alternating it with a citizen’s police academy,” said Sergeant Smith.
Sergeant Smith added that the academy was very successful overall.
“The students got to see a lot of different aspects of being a police officer,” noted Sergeant Smith. “And we had a good turnout with kids being so busy these days.”
In addition to the police academies, the GPD sponsors Shop with a Cop and National Night Out in connection with the Grinnell Optimist Club.
Any high school student interested in attending the next Student Police Academy should contact Sergeant Smith at 641-236-2670.
Grinnell Interim Police Sergeant Ben Smith, right, looks on as participates in the Grinnell Police Department first ever Student Police Academy learn about crime scene investigations and dusting for fingerprints during a recent class. Seven area high school students took the eight-week course.