CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A five-day program funded by the Charles E. Shannon grant was created by the Chicopee Police Department and Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee Youth Police Academy for teen cadets to gain a better understanding of just some of the important aspects of police work.

Staff instructors SROs Harris and Montonez, Officers Szura and Beshara, as well as numerous more officers came in each day to educate and assist with activities that make up of the program run by SRO Hammon.

Day 1 – June 27

On Day 1, uniformed cadets arrived early and lined up in formation before beginning their day. The K-9 unit of the Chicopee Police Department performed a demonstration. The cadets witnessed some searching drills as well as obedience training. Along with completing some physical exercise and marching maneuvers to round off their morning. Cadets also had the chance to investigate a simulated crime scene on their own, speak with witnesses, and question suspects. Then a question and answer session was hosted by detectives.

Day 2 – June 28

As part of the academy’s continuation, day 2 was held. Which, CPR and other first aid techniques were taught by Officer James Laflamme of the Chicopee Police Department Training Division. Each cruiser is equipped with a medical bag and an AED, which the Cadets were shown. AED practice was conducted on dummies that were used for CPR. Afternoon training included Defensive Tactics drills and a flyover from the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing.

Day 3 – June 29

For day 3, the cadets went off campus to do some team building. In Amherst, they took part in a ropes course, where they were given several tasks to be completed in groups. According to the Chicopee Police Department, as a team, they became stronger than they would have been on their own.

Each cadet was required to touch at least one circle while calling out the number as a group and locate 36 numbered circles in a set amount of time.

Then they worked in pairs to walk on ropes, which required their partner’s strength and support to be successful. They then had to cooperate to use a rope to transfer the appropriate amount of Cadets from one platform to another. The Cadets were able to solve the task by collaborating and problem-solving as a result.

Day 4 – June 30

The Cadets went to Brunelles Marina in South Hadley to take a ride on the Lady Bea on day 4. A demonstration by the Chicopee Police Underwater Recovery Team (URT)Lt taught the cadets about boating safety.

The Cadets were given a tour of some of the tools used in an underwater search by Wegrzynek and Sgt. Nichols. The Chicopee Police and Fire boat was also available for the cadets to ride on. Watch to see what these young cadets experience tomorrow.

Day 5 – July 1

The Cadets met with Officers Pieczarka and Smola from the Special Response Team on the last day (SRT). Some of the tools utilized in various scenarios when the SRT would be called upon to respond were made visible to the Cadets. Sergeant Ortiz and Officer Kunzel also gave them a block of teaching on driving while intoxicated.

Wearing impairment goggles, the cadets were able to drive golf carts across a course. The Chief Major addressed the Cadets and thanked them for their dedication to the program while also discussing the training and information they had received this week.

Additionally, the Chief Major praised all of his employees who helped with the Cadets’ training.

Officers Moran and Broduere hosted a K-9 presentation. Sergeant Nichols and Detective Costa’s held a demonstration of a crime scene.

Officer James Laflamme led instruction of CPR and defense tactics. Lieutenant Wegrzynek held a boat team demonstration. Sergeant Ortiz and Officer Kunzel hosted their block on impaired driving.

The Chicopee Police Department said, “their dedication to this program has continued to make it a huge success.”