Edwardsville Youth Police Academy is growing rapidly

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It couldn’t have been a better first year at the Edwardsville Youth Police Academy for 13-year-old Jack Walsh.

Walsh was the president of the Edwardsville Youth Police Academy which had 29 participants this year. A normal year has around 20 to 25, but this was the first year the academy had to turn away participants.

“It was really fun,” Walsh said. “We have to do a lot of amazing things.”

The academy is a leadership camp that works on civic skills and was held June 6-17 this year.

“They invest their summer in themselves to become better leaders, said academy coordinator and Edwardsville police officer Barb Frolik. “We have no problem investing our time to help them achieve this. It was an amazing group of students.

The program, which just completed its 25th year, is staffed by Glen-Ed area youth ages 12 to 16 and led by Frolik and other area officers. The academy seeks to bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth.


Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at St. Mary’s, the two-week course runs.

Academy attendees also learn lifesaving skills including CPR training, applying bandages to stop bleeding, Edwardsville Fire Department fire extinguisher safety, bomb squad presentations and K9 demonstrations. Academy participants also do community service can drive for the Glen-Ed Food Pantry.

A two-day team building adventure, which includes a day at Raging Rivers and a graduation ceremony concludes the academy.

While learning about democracy, the group made an election and elected President Walsh. He credited his election to a group of friends he had at the academy who rallied around his leadership skills.

“It was quite interesting and fun,” Walsh said.

His duties were to train the entire academy and get everyone in order before field trips or during daily activities. Walsh helped others around him in the class.

“It made me a better person overall,” Walsh said. “I learned to be a lot more polite.”

Walsh added that the whole academy experience has improved his leadership and social skills, and he’s made a ton of new friends.

“It was an amazing experience and I know I’m going to do it again next year,” Walsh said.

He will aim to be re-elected president next summer.

For more information about the Edwardsville Youth Police Academy, including how to enroll, visit the program website.

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