Warwick Junior Police Academy holds graduation ceremony


Warwick Junior Police Academy holds graduation ceremony

July 21, 2023

Sixteen junior cadets graduated from the first session of the Town of Warwick Police Department Junior Police Academy in the outdoor theater at Mountain Lake Park on July 21, 2022. The academy, in its second year, is a collaborative effort between the police department and the Warwick Valley Central School District.

The junior cadets, district students between the ages of 10 and 15, were celebrated for their commitment to the academy, which emphasizes public service and leadership. The program teaches the junior cadets many of the district’s Portrait of a Graduate qualities, including leadership, collaborative and communication skills, as well as citizenship and problem-solving.

School resource officers Dave Serviss, Katie Oresto, James Feragola, Bob Kenney and Kat Hulak run the 10-day program, headquartered at Warwick Valley Middle School. The goal is for the children to have fun while gaining an understanding of the demands of police training and service. The Junior Police Academy consists of daily physical training, lectures, presentations, hands‐on activities, and several interesting and educational fields trips.

Activities and lectures are led by members of the police department and New York State Troopers. Presentations, workshops and field trips are led by local professionals.

“Over the last ten days, we hope that we were able to teach them some lessons that they can take with them in life, whether it’s in the criminal justice system or in law enforcement or in life,” Warwick Police Chief John Rader said during the ceremony. “In ten days, they came together as a great team. I hope they will learn to become good citizens and above all, to make good choices.”

The junior cadets were involved in activities such as processing a playground “crime scene” using investigation techniques, touring the Orange County Emergency Services Center and visiting TreEscape Aerial Adventure in Vernon, N.J. The children also learned defensive tactics; handcuffing techniques; CPR, bicycle and fire safety; and taekwondo, among other things.

Class president Samira Ahad described the two-week program as a great experience during her speech.

“First I would like to thank first like to think those who thought I was fit for title as president of this class, Samira said.  “I also have to thank the remarkable officers who took time out of their day to teach us how to become stronger. One thing this program has taught me is integrity. That word was mentioned a lot in my time of being here, and I’m glad it was because it has told me every day, even if no one is looking, you have an opportunity to do something amazing.”

View a slideshow of photographs from the ceremony below:


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