Sep. 23—Lockport Police Explorers is looking to give young people a look at real-life policing in two get-togethers per month from October to June.
Youths aged 15 to 20 years are invited to apply for admission.
Teachers will include Officer Bill Jones, Officer Julie Snyder, Officer Miguel Bermudez, Officer Michael Stroud and Lt. Dave Pytlik as primary supervisors, but other experts, such as officers on the K9 team, will come in and discuss the field that they specialize in.
Topics to be covered include forensics and detective work, custody issues (handcuffing, booking, fingerprinting), firearms, reality based training, physical training and traffic stops.
"This year we're starting with forensics," Pytlik said.
Forensic training includes fingerprinting, as well as the collection of DNA and securing evidence. Pytlik said explorers will be put in a couple rooms — a working example of a typical crime scene — with a broken window, some strands of hair, cell phones and other pieces of evidence for them to catalog and collect using real-life police work skills.
Retired police officers have volunteered to role-play in the traffic stop training, which will highlight a dangerous situation in which the individual pulled over has a weapon or is known to have fought police in the past.
Youths accepted into the program must obtain a parent's permission to participate, maintain at least a "C" average grade-wise in school and remain in good moral standing.
This is the second year of the Lockport Police Explorers program, and three of the four participants in the inaugural program are returning. The fourth participant is going to college, Pytlik said.
Police Explorers is an opportunity for young people to learn about police work and whether they're interested in getting into the field or not.
"Typically we get people who desire to become police officers, but anyone is welcome," Pytlik said. "We want the community to know what we do and why we do it."
To obtain an application, email DPytlik@lockportny.gov or go to the walk-up window at Lockport Police Department, at the rear of city hall off Niagara Street.