HELENA – High school students from all over Montana were in Helena this week for the 2019 Junior Police Leadership Academy.
The five-day event had the young cadets taking part in mock crime scenes, rock climbing, learning how to search a building and even getting behind the wheel of a cop car.
New this year, the teens wore green shirts to honor Trooper Wade Palmer and support the Montana Highway Patrol’s “Wear Green for Wade” campaign.
Kara Guderian, a police officer from Great Falls, is one of several members of law enforcement serving as an advisor for the students.
Guderian has been serving as an adviser since she attended the academy herself in high school.
“I understand that not all of them are going to go into law enforcement,” said Guderian. “I just want them to gain some leadership skills and kind of take whatever they learn here into any profession that they go into.”
Polson High School junior Victor Perez told MTN he’s been having a blast in the program — and even conquered a personal fear.
“This has really helped me out,” explained Perez. “I overcame a fear yesterday doing some repelling. I’m afraid of heights and actually did it! I mean, this is life changing.”
The Junior Police Leadership Academy is sponsored by the Montana Association of Chiefs of Police (MACOP). Comprised of police administrators from across the state, the organization covers the costs for the high schoolers to attend the program.
Story by John Riley, MTN News