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 educates 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 and classroom instruction, and the Teen Police Academy includes a behind-the-scenes department tour. There is no cost to attend the Teen Police Academy.

The Teen Police Academy is held each afternoon (1 pm to 5 pm) for one week during June. To be eligible, attendees must be 13-18 or have completed the 7th grade. The class can accommodate 20 participants and is filled by prioritizing older students.   
The 2023 Teen Police Academy will be held June 12-16. A link to the application is down below.

View photos from previous Teen Police Academies:

2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022

If you would like more information about the Teen Police Academy, please get in touch with any of the people listed below at (605)882-6210 or by email:

Captain Steve Rehorst   Sergeant Matt Hegg  Officer Chad Stricherz

 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.