KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - Do you ever wonder what it's like to be a police officer? Some Dunklin County high school students are finding out for themselves.
It's all a part of the youth law enforcement academy in Kennett. The ten selected students are learning the ropes from some of the best officers in the business. With hands on training and real-life scenarios, these kids are doing it all.
When officers arrive on a scene, they don't know what they're in for. The same goes for these youth officers in training.
"We are analyzing a crime scene. Well, a murder, homicide," Jarvis Stewart said.
Solving the mock-crime is completely up to them. Of course, their instructors are there to help and educate, but these students say there's more to it than what meets the eye.
"Find evidence, ask witnesses, interrogate," Stewart said.
Officers with the Kennett Police Department say the program isn't only about teaching kids about police work, but it is also an investment in the community.
"We are not just about writing tickets. We are about being involved in our community, reaching out to the kids, promoting this positive image," Captain Tim Trowbridge said.
Trowbridge said in the middle of the recent bad news about cops, programs like this prove there are far more good officers than bad.
"There's bad apples in every occupation," Trowbridge said.
"When I was in kindergarten, we wrote about what we want to be when we grow up, I put a police officer," Stewart said.
"[I want to be] a police officer or a state trooper either one," Cody Kidwell said.
While some of the students want to pursue law enforcement, the academy instills values for any occupation.
"Always hold yourself in excellence. Be a professional in whatever you do," Trowbridge said.
The recruits are certainly on the right track for that by handling all situations politely and professionally.
So, with tips from their teachers and teamwork with their fellow officers, these youth recruits are on their way to the top of the class.
"Next year you should definitely apply because it's a lot of fun," Kidwell said.
The class goes until Friday and ends with a court scenario where the young officers will have to testify. Then, they'll officially become graduates.