Local police departments team up to host Regional Youth Police Academy

Teens to get an in-depth look into the world of policing June 26-30

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 24, 2023


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP/BIRMINGHAM/ROCHESTER — Teens can get an inside look into the field of law enforcement next month thanks to a new Regional Youth Police Academy.

The police departments in Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, Rochester and Auburn Hills have joined forces this year to host the first Regional Youth Police Academy in June.

“We will be hosting a regional youth academy for our teens, where they’ll learn not only the basics of policing, but they’ll learn that we are human; they’ll learn how to interact with the police and why we do what we do,” said Officer Nick Soley of the Bloomfield Township Police Department.

Open to Oakland County students ages 14-18, the academy will take place 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. June 26-30 at the Bloomfield Township Training Center, 4315 Andover Road in Bloomfield Hills.

“It’s a great opportunity for teens to pull the curtain back and see what happens in the police departments in the area, get some exposure to the police departments and get some questions answered,” said Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm. “Maybe we’ll find some people who are interested in a career in law enforcement, and this is a great way to find out what it’s all about.”

The program will cover many topics of law enforcement — including a hands-on look at police equipment, tactics, investigations, criminal law, procedures, basic first aid, CPR certification, firearms safety and scenario-based training. All training is provided by officers from Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, Rochester and Auburn Hills.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun with them — whether it be over at the court or some scenario days that we’re going to have,” Soley said.

The academy is free to attend. Lunch will be provided daily, and participants will receive an academy T-shirt. Space is limited to 20 students, and applications are due before June 5.

Soley said those who apply must possess good character and a good work ethic, demonstrate their honesty and trustworthiness, be in good legal standing, and authorize their respective police department and its agents to complete a thorough background check on them.

All applications can either be emailed to CRO@bloomfieldtwp.org, or mailed or hand delivered to Officer Nick Soley, Bloomfield Township Police Department, 4200 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Township, MI 48303 before the June 5 deadline.

“We’re not full at this time, and we are looking for a maximum of about 20,” Soley explained. “Twenty teenagers is a lot, but we will have representatives from each department here each day, and we have a lot of volunteers.”

The students who are accepted — along with at least one parent — will be required to attend an informational meeting at 7 p.m. June 7 in the Bloomfield Township Training Center.

A Regional Youth Police Academy graduation ceremony will be held June 30 in Bloomfield Township. For more information, contact Bloomfield Township Police Officer Nick Soley at (248) 433-7724 or CRO@Bloomfieldtwp.org.