The Brighton Police Dept. just completed a second year of what is now its annual Brighton Police Youth Leadership Academy. Some 18 middle and incoming high school students from the Brighton area graduated from the two-and-a-half week-long academy this weekend.

For the second year, Chris Parks of the Brighton Police Dept., who is now a sergeant, was in charge of the program. WHMI was at Brighton High School on Friday, where Sgt. Parks put his young charges through their paces. For Friday’s exercise, Parks had the recruits don what are called “drunk goggles”, which are goggles that simulate what a driver sees outside his vehicle when drunk or impaired.

According to Police Chief Rob 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 recruits were trained in and got their certification in first aid, CPR, and boater and hunter safety.

Again this year, the 16 trainees got to go inside and inspect a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter, which landed at the High School parking lot, where the crew answered questions. The girls and boys took part in several field trips, including one to the Livingston County Courthouse in Howell, where they observed the court system first-hand. The program is funded primarily through the Brighton Police Department’s annual budget, with the help of donations of food and other items by the Brighton business community. The academy was run at no cost to the students, and lunch was provided. (TT)