Cranford Police Department Youth Police Academy Graduation

The twelfth class of the Cranford Police Department Youth Police Academy graduated on Friday, June 29, 2018 after completing a one-week course designed to expose them to the functions of the police department.

The academy program, designed to bridge the gap between the members of the police department and the youth of Cranford, included 64 cadets from Cranford between the ages of 11 and 14. “This unique opportunity provided our students with a greater understanding of the inner workings of a police department, as well as policies and procedures, as taught by the Law Enforcement professionals themselves,” said Cranford Police Chief Ryan Greco.

Each academy day started with one hour of physical fitness and military drill practice led by Patrolman Daniel Donnerstag followed by classroom lectures and demonstrations. Detective Steven D’Ambola coordinated training sessions designed to familiarize the cadets with the roles of Cranford police officers, as well as the functions of various county and state law enforcement agencies. During the week, cadets received classroom lectures and practical exercises on police department structure, patrol operations, motor vehicle stops, investigative techniques, DWI, first aid/CPR, firearms safety, gang awareness, and traffic investigations.

Demonstrations were presented by the Cranford Police Department’s Water Rescue Unit, Firearms Unit, Investigative Division, and Traffic Bureau. Additional presentations were made by the Cranford Fire Department Emergency Medical Services, United States Marine Corps, New Jersey Transit Police Department, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness, Union County Sheriff’s K-9 and Crime Scene Units, Union County Bomb Squad, Union County SWAT, Union County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

More than 200 family and friends of the cadets attended the graduation ceremony held at the Cranford Community Center. Chief Ryan Greco, Captain Joseph Van Bergen, and academy instructor Patrolman Steven D’Ambola led the graduation ceremonies. During the ceremony, family and friends were given an overview of the Youth Academy Program. The highlight of the graduation was a video and slide show depicting the weeklong training experience. All graduating cadets received certificates for their participation in the program.

(above) Cranford Youth Police Academy Class of 2018.