LOWELL — The Lowell Police Department is pleased to announce that 29 students recently graduated from the Student Police Academy.
On Friday, Aug. 28, the class of fifth and sixth grade Lowell students celebrated the completion of the program at a graduation ceremony held at John F. Kennedy Civic Center Plaza. Each graduate was given a certificate. The graduation, like the academy itself, was held in accordance with state and local public health guidelines. Only students and members of the Lowell Police Department attended the ceremony, while their families were able to watch the ceremony via a live stream.
“Congratulations to the fifth and sixth grade students who successfully completed this year’s Student Police Academy,” Superintendent Richardson said. “The students were able to learn lifelong skills as well as gain insight into possible careers they can pursue in the future. We’re thrilled to be able to hold this exceptional course that provides local students with unmatched insight into police work.”
The two-week course was modeled after the police academy curriculum and provided students with lessons such as physical training, building self-confidence/self-esteem, and finding role models and mentorships with staff. The classes students attended throughout the program included CPR training/certification, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Gang Awareness, Dangers of Vaping, Internet/Social Media Safety, Teen Dating Violence, Anti-Bullying, Criminal Investigations and Police Patrol Procedures. Guest instructors also came in to teach classes such as Fire Safety, Police K-9 demonstration and Bomb Squad work.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the course was shortened and the number of students was reduced in line with recommendations from the Lowell Health Department. Students had their temperatures taken each morning, and all who participated were required to wear a face mask or covering and practice social distancing throughout the academy. The course traditionally has been held over three weeks, with upwards of 100 students in attendance.
The summer program is completely free for Lowell students in fifth through eighth grades, and breakfast and lunch is provided for students. Over 5,000 students have participated in the program since it was first held 22 years ago.