By Pat Maurer
Thirty-two youngsters just completed the ninth annual two week Youth Police Academy in Clare.
The graduates were honored in a special ceremony Thursday, July 24 at the Shamrock Park pavilion. Official speakers at the graduation included Clare County Sheriff’s Detective Erica Vredevelt, Undersheriff and former Clare Police Chief Dwayne Miedzianowski, Clare Chief Brian Gregory, Sgt. Greg Kolhoff, and Officer Brian David.
Speaking for the graduating cadets was Mia Fetzer.
During the grueling and extensive two-week course cadets trained and studied law enforcement and investigation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday each week, winding up with a final test and evaluations July 24.
Each day featured physical training and a different aspect of the job. Classes included K-9 narcotics and tracking; crime scene investigations and evidence processing; report writing; case presentation; Mobile Medical Response and CPR Certification; patrol procedures and traffic stops; learning about BAYANET (the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team); danger awareness and de-escalation techniques; fire prevention; accident investigation; internet safety; dive teams and marine patrol; emergency vehicle operations; and the effects of alcohol and drugs.
The main instructors were Officer Brian David, Sgt. Greg Kolhoff, Michigan State Police Trooper Mike White and Sheriff’s Detective Erica Vredevelt.
Captain David Saad who was one of the instructors, said, “This year’s Youth Police Academy went extremely well. We had a great group of people working and fantastic help from the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police and all of the other agencies that assisted us. We are looking forward to our 10th academy next year!”
Photo courtesy of Det. Erica Vredevelt