First published May 8. Last updated July 5.
Registration is now closed.
FRAMINGHAM – Since October 2019, Framingham Police Officer Jay Ball has been working on establishing a Framingham Youth Police Academy,
It was to have launched in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic arrived. With the COVID cases reduced and vaccinations soon to be available for youths, the Framingham Police Department announced it will be accepting application for the first-ever academy.
Officer Ball said the Framingham program takes some of its ideas from a program already in place in the City of Marlborough, which is for middle school students.
UPDATED: The Framingham Police Department announced today, May 27, the Youth Police Academy will be expanding registration to include anyone entering grades 9, 10, 11, and 12th in September of 2021 and who has not attained the age of 18 as of August 1, 2021.
It seemed like a good age, said Ball, who is the school resource officer at Framingham High School.
Officer Ball said Framingham Police Chief Lester Baker is 100% behind the program.
The program will be for boys and girls and will be run the last week of July.
It is free for Framingham youth, but parents must register them.
Youths who attend will learn about policing, but “have fun,” said Officer Ball, who was previously the school resource officer at Keefe Technical High School.
The academy will teacher youths what it is like to be a police officer, said Ball.
There will be physical training, learning marching and formation. There will be self defense lesson, internet safety lessons, and they will learn about crime scene analysis, said Ball.
The academy offers a way for youth to understand police work,” said Officer Ball.
There also will be guest speaker tied to the justice system.
“There will be some homework, and attendees will learn to be comfortable with public speaking,” said Ball. “It is important for youth not to be afraid to talk in front of their peers or adults.”
There may be some surprise guests, too, said Ball. “Perhaps a K-9 team.”
There are less than 40 spaces for the free week-long academy.
Marlborough’s academy is already full with more than 100 applicants.
The deadline to apply for Framingham is June 18.