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Junior law academy offered for 25th year in 2022
Junior Law Enforcement Academy Preview

Rising fourth through seventh graders will have a chance to learn the ins-and-outs of police work during the 25th annual Junior Law Enforcement Academy.

The event will be hosted by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office at a new location, Dawson County Middle School, from June 6-10, 2022. 

This weeklong academy is completely free, and applications will be sent home with schoolchildren. JLEA only has 80 available spots, so DCSO encourages parents to submit applications sooner rather than later. Applications are due no later than April 22. 

For more information, people can contact school resource officers Cpl. Randall Mullis at 706-531-5945 or Dep. Phillip Cofield at 706-531-5941.

Last year, 42 students attended JLEA. Since its inception in 1997, the academy has been held at Dawson County Junior High School, but it’s been moved to the middle school starting this year to ensure better scheduling and space access, said Cpl. Mullis.

He explained that during the academy, children will be split into four different teams, ideally with 20 cadets in each group. Just like in other years, activities will include age-appropriate training in firearms and emergency vehicle operations, as well as sessions on topics like crime scene investigation. 

This year, though, cadets will be able to learn firearms safety with new equipment, Mullis said. 

DCSO is acquiring a laser tag-style system for the shoot-or-don’t-shoot and active shooter scenarios and Glock airsoft guns.

Cadets will also be recognized at an end-of-week ceremony with accolades including but not limited to “Top Driver,” “Top Gun,” and the top cadet in academics. The top all-around cadet will get their team’s flag. 

Mullis shared that his interest in JLEA goes along with his being the school resource officer for DCMS.

“It’s a good program to give cadets knowledge of what we do and how we do it and an appreciation for law enforcement when they get older,” he said. 

He hopes the program can not only offer an alternative to negative cultural views toward police but also potentially inspire some cadets to pursue a future career in law enforcement. 

“If we can start young by showing them how things really are and give them insight toward law enforcement,” he added, “there will be a little more respect there.”