Delco District Attorney Jack Whelan and police chiefs and mayors from five boroughs attended the Southeast Regional Youth Police Academy graduation ceremony last week.
Twenty-one boys and girls from Aldan, Clifton Heights, East Lansdowne, Lansdowne and Yeadon received certificates and were congratulated for completing the eight-week program.
Clifton Chief Tim Rockenbach announced the program, the second since initiated, was started last year to foster trust and communication among youth with law officers while learning first hand incidents police face on a daily basis.
“During the (course) cadets are exposed to many facets of the law enforcement profession,” Rockenbach said covering investigations, patrol, narcotics and forensics. “In the academy, the cadets learn hands-on how to process crime scenes using the latest forensic tools, first aid and how to assist injured persons until help arrives. They learn firearm safety and how the 911 dispatch system works.”
“It was a great eight weeks bridging the gap between police and youth in the community and how they see us.”
To support the program, borough officials attended including Aldan Mayor James Hopely and Chief Ken Coppola; Clifton Heights Mayor Joe Kelly and Rockenbach; East Lansdowne Mayor John Dukes and Chief John Zimath; Lansdowne Mayor Tony Campuzano and Chief Dan Donegan; and Yeadon Mayor Rohan Hepkins and Chief Don Molineux.
Lansdowne Officer Larry Albertoli, spokesman for the program, introduced officials and other officers and agencies in attendance including the Delco Sheriff’s Office, Delco Emergency Services, Clifton Fire Company, Delco Women Against Rape and Philadelphia Police Department for their contributions to the program.
“We turned you into leaders,” Albertoli said. “Be a leader among your peers. We are asking you to take the initiative, take that step, to improve your community. We can all work together.”
Whelan offered his congratulations, informing youth there are 42 separate police departments in the county.
He offered thanks to the parents and guardians for their support to have their child attend and complete the course.
The youth who participated and completed the second police academy include James Childs, Cassandra Ciampi, Jack DiDonato, brothers Dominic and Steven Ervin, siblings Ronald and Samantha Fail, Angela Faraglia, Kamran Francis, Hailey Geller, Milan Haughton, Randy Johnson, Yazmyne Johnson, Ryan Kneass, Michael Madden Jr., Kevin McCloskey Jr., Tajuan McNear, Michael Morrison, Savanna Urban, Justin Wagner and Xavier White.