Teen Police Academy

TPA LogoThe Watertown Police Department is pleased to offer an exciting opportunity for young people to become closely acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of the Police Department. The Teen Police Academy is an interactive program that focuses on educating young people about the police department’s mission, function, and processes. The Teen Police Academy brings officers and youth close together in a setting that offers a sample of police training to each participant. Each session provides hands-on activities, along with classroom instruction, and the Academy includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the department. There is no cost to attend the Teen Police Academy. A similar class, the Citizen's Police Academy, is offered for adults each spring and fall.

The Teen Police Academy is held each afternoon (1pm to 5pm) for one week during June.  To be eligible, attendees must be 13-18 years of age, or have completed the 7th grade. The class can accommodate 20 participants and is filled by giving priority to older students.   

The 2022 Teen Police Academy will be held June 6-10.  A link to the application is down below.

View photos from previous Teen Police Academies:
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

If you would like more information about the Teen Police Academy, please contact any of the people listed below at (605)882-6210 or by email:
Captain Kirk Ellis   SRO Jamon Harberts   SRO Jessica Johnson

Eligibility Requirements:
  • Be 13 to 18 years of age or entering the 8th grade
  • Be currently enrolled and attending school
  • Have a parents’ written consent to attend
  • Agree to attend all five sessions of the Academy
  • Submit application by deadline
    Session 1 - Orientation / SWAT
    Participants will become familiar with the organizational structure of the WPD and its various programs and sub-units during a behind-the-scenes tour of the department. SWAT officers will display and demonstrate the tools and equipment used in the field.

    Session 2 - Patrol Operations / Traffic
    Attendees will learn about the wide variety of incidents handled by patrol officers. They will get hands-on experience with equipment used in speeding enforcement and crash investigation.

    Session 3 - Criminal Inv, Drugs, & K9
    Detectives will explain the process of investigating drug offenses and other felonies and misdemeanors. K9 handlers will demonstrate the capabilities of their four-legged partners.

    Session 4 - Crime Scene Investigation
    Participants will learn how to develop and lift latent fingerprints, cast shoeprints, determine bullet trajectory, and photograph a crime scene. They will put those skills to use while processing a full-scale mock crime scene.

    Session 5 - DUI Investigation / Graduation
    Participants will learn how and why officers use sobriety tests to conduct thorough and proper investigations into drunk driving crimes. Graduation ceremony includes certificate and Academy T shirt.