Applications recently went home with local fifth through ninth graders inviting them to sign up for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Junior Law Enforcement Academy.
Now in its 14th season, the summer camps introduce cadets to aspects of local law enforcement — from traffic stops and crime scene investigations, to firearm safety and S.W.A.T. training, among others.
Split into age-appropriate sessions, the camps will be held in June and are free of charge.
“Last year, we had more campers than any year before,” said Deputy Stan Harrison.
Capt. Tony Wooten said the economy has played a role in the increased number of campers.
“We know some families are doing this instead of taking vacations, because the economy is tough,” he said. “We’ve always taken pride that we’ve never turned down a kid for the academy. We try to make this available for everybody.”
Beginning with 26 participants in 1998, the academy had grown to 255 cadets last year.
Junior Law Enforcement Academy Session 1, for students in fifth grade for the 2011-12 school year, will be June 6-10.
Junior Law Enforcement Academy Session 2, for students in sixth and seventh grades for the 2011-12 school year, will be June 20-24.
Cadets must submit an essay outlining why they would like to attend junior law enforcement academy.
The advanced course, for students enrolled in eighth or ninth grades, is June 15-17.
All cadets must attend a Dawson County school or be home schooled and live in the county.
The academies run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are held at Dawson County Middle School. Lunch and snacks will be served daily, and each cadet will receive a T-shirt to wear each day.
For more information, call (706) 344-3535.