Hagerstown Police Department Officer Brett McKoy said a dozen middle-school age children graduated from the academy when it wrapped up June 15.
“We want to bring positive programs to the youth of Washington County,” McKoy said.
The academy ran from June 11 to 15. During that time, the students participated in a variety of activities that included fingerprinting, firearms training and guided tours of the Washington County circuit and district courts.
Ryder Mills, 13, of Big Pool, said he attended the academy because he wants to be a police officer when he gets older.
“I thought it would be a good start,” he said. “I thought it would be fun to learn different things for when I want to be a police officer.”
Hagerstown resident Bransyn Dillinger, 13, said he also wants to be a police officer.
He said he liked the firearms training and a presentation that was given by the Washington County Special Response Team.
“They can kick down a door and use big old guns like that,” he said.
The academy also has been a stepping stone for some police officers.
Hagerstown Patrolman Cory Biden, 27, said he attended the academy in 1998. He said the program helped reinforce his childhood desire to be an officer.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “The students get a perspective of what police do. We’re there to help. We’re not just there for the bad things.”
McKoy said the academy advertised for participants at middle schools across Washington County.
He said school resource officers taught the classes.
McKoy said he didn’t know how much the academy cost to operate, but organizers were able to keep expenses low, thanks to donors. He said the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League, for example, loaned its van to shuttle the students to various events.