LMPD looking for local teens for youth academy - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD looking for local teens for youth academy

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB) -- Dozens of Louisville youth will be in police custody this summer, but they're not in trouble with the law. It is part of LMPD's youth citizens police academy. The goal is twofold: to expose teenagers to life as a police officer and to remind them that the men and women in uniform are also their friends.

"I've heard a lot of bad things," Said Blake Linton, attending youth academy.

14 year old Blake admits some of his friends and classmates don't have the best opinions about police.

Blake says, "A lot of my friends they say that, you know, cops a lot of times are racist or stuff like that, even though it's not true."

That's why Blake is eager to sign up for LMPD's upcoming Youth Citizens Police Academy.

"The goal of the citizens police academy program, particularly the youth citizens police academy program is to expose the youth of our community between the ages of 14 and 17 to an introduction to law enforcement," says Officer Matthew Gelhausen, LMPD Community Relations.

Officer Gelhausen is coordinator for the citizens police academy and says the department uses the classes to send a message to local teenagers.

"We definitely want to put the right image out there and for the youth to realize that they are our future, you know, we are setting the foundation now for our future...with working and investing in our youth."

And in doing so, police are hoping to prevent the kinds of youth violence the city saw in March of this year, or at least encourage young people to be role models and report crimes. "We are always looking for them to become an ambassador for the police department, to have a knowledge of how the police department operates and to go forth and to talk with their other friends and their family," says Officer Gelhausen.

And Blake Linton says that's exactly what he plans to do, that's despite the negative peer pressure. "They say 'yeah, you know, you could be doing sports or you could be doing all these other things. Police officers are not bad, they are there to help you and to help the society."

The first class starts on June 23rd and the second is in July 28th. To fill out an application for the academy, just click on the button.

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