The first-ever Brighton Police Youth Leadership Academy last summer was an unqualified success, and Police Chief Rob Bradford hopes to continue the standard that was set in 2018 again this year. Brighton 7th and 8th grade students are eligible to enroll in the two-and-a-half week academy this summer.

Once again this year, Brighton Police Officer Chris Parks, who is also the Brighton High School liaison officer, will be in charge of the Youth Leadership Academy. According to Bradford, the goal of the program is for youths to become more self-confident, while learning team-building skills and becoming more knowledgeable about how police officers train. The trainees will be instructed and trained in first aid, along with what it would be like to become a police officer or National Guard member.

Certifications will be earned in first aid/CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator or AED, and also in boater and hunter safety. There will be presentations by the US Coast Guard, National Guard, Michigan State Police Bomb Squad and the Brighton Police Department’s own K-9 dog.

The academy will take place from June 10th until June 27th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the city police station and there will be special field trips. Chief Bradford tells WHMI that the deadline for taking applications is getting near, and youths interested in joining the academy need to send in their applications by this coming Friday.

Last year, the 16 trainees were treated to the sight of a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter landing at the Brighton High School parking lot, where the crew answered questions. The youths also were able to observe the judicial system with a day at the county courthouse, learn from EMTs how crash victims are extricated from vehicles and attend a mini-Brighton Area Fire Dept. academy. The program is funded primarily through the Brighton Police Dept. budget, with the help of donations by the local business community. There is no cost to the students, and lunch will be provided. Applications can be picked up at the Maltby Intermediate School or Scranton Middle School main office or at the Brighton Police Dept. at 440 S. Third St. (TT)