Patrol officer Chris Parks, who is also the police liaison officer to the Brighton Area Schools, is instituting the academy, with the full blessing of the police dept. and Police Chief Rob Bradford. Parks outlined the planned academy at recent meetings of the Brighton Board of Education and Brighton City Council. He tells WHMI that the Brighton Police Youth Leadership Academy, as it will be called, will consist of students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades, who are, or will be, attending Maltby Intermediate School or Scranton Middle School. While they’re not seeking high school students for the program, Parks says that they will be looking for several students in the Brighton High School leadership class to act as mentors. He explains for WHMI why they’re gearing the program toward middle school students. Parks said they will be taking about 30 students who have applied, who will be bused by Brighton Area School buses for training and field trips in various disciplines. Besides what Parks mentioned, some of the other activities and training sessions the students will be participating in are lifesaving techniques, mock crime scene training, hunter and firearms safety, narcotics awareness training, boater safety, a K-9 demonstration with drug searches and performing community service. During the training, various resource people in the county will give presentations. At the conclusion of the training sessions, a formal graduation ceremony will be held, with successful completion earning cadets a certificate of completion. In addition, they will get their hunter safety, marine safety, first aid and CPR certification. Uniforms, backpacks, and other materials will be provided. The police academy will take place from July 9-27 of next year. There is a $25 fee for students to participate in the program, although that may be waived on the basis of financial hardship. The bulk of the funding will come from the drug forfeiture program and juvenile diversion program. (TT)