It is with great pride the Manchester Township Police congratulates the graduates of the 2016 Youth Police Academy, the second class to successfully complete the one-week program.

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Held from August 1-5, 23 students from grades 6, 7 and 8 were introduced to the law enforcement profession and taught what it means to be a police officer through hands-on demonstrations and activities. Led by School Resource Officer Christopher Cerullo, the youth cadets engaged in a variety of activities each day showing them different aspects of law enforcement.

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“This week, I saw a great group of cadets learn and demonstrate the principles of discipline, leadership, and dedication,” said Chief Lisa Parker. “I’m proud that they dedicated a week of their summer vacation to such a worthwhile program.”

The youth cadets were taught the history of the Manchester Township Police Department, interacted with Ocean County Police Academy cadets during a tour at their Lakewood facility, saw SWAT demonstrations at the Ocean County Fire Academy, and learned about physical fitness, first aid and traffic safety.

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“We’re able to teach these cadets about what we as officers do on a daily basis, as well as connect with them and build a sense of community,” said SRO Cerullo. “We’re always here for our children, and it’s important for them to know that.”

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On Friday, Aug. 5, the youth cadets celebrated their accomplishments with a graduation ceremony and pizza party. Chief Parker addressed the class, and cadet Liane Sharry was selected to read an essay detailing their week’s worth of activities. Helping to make the Youth Police Academy possible were Patrolman Patrick Mabie, Detective Adam Emmons, the Ocean County Police Academy, Ocean County SWAT, and Manchester First Aid and Rescue Squad.