Youth police academy starts Friday

Published 12:04 am Sunday, September 25, 2016

Group aims to promote physical fitness, community involvement

PROCTORVILLE —  Sgt. Randy Thompson of Proctorville police said youth in the region need a chance to have something to belong to and make a difference in lives around them.

The first meeting of the Proctorville Youth Police Academy is set for 7 p.m.  Friday at village hall and is open to grades 1-12 and will meet monthly.

“Kids will serve as cadets,” he said of the group, which is open to those in Proctorville, Lawrence County and beyond.

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“People from West Virginia and Gallia County can attend he said.”

Thompson said he, Proctorville Mayor Richard Dunfee and Police Chief Bill Murphy have been planning the group for some time and the mayor granted him the authorization to begin.

The group will take part in physical fitness activities and community challenges, and there will be an educational component as well, he said.

“For example, for our September kickoff, we’re going to be talking safety and we’ll be providing trick-or-treat information to parents so kids can stay safe,” Thompson said.

He said, each month, cadets would be presented with a community challenge.

“Like making your home safe — things like making sure the porch light is working and the porch is clean for trick-or-treaters,” Thompson said.

“The second part would, with a parent’s permission, finding an elderly neighbor and making their home safe.”

Thompson said those who successfully complete a challenge would earn points, which would allow them to achieve a rank and participate in special activities.

“We’re thinking things like taking them roller skating,” he said. “A lot of kids have never had a chance to do that.”

He said more ideas and plans would be worked out as they progress.

“We’re shaping it to fit our little community and tailoring it to kids,” he said.

For the physical fitness portion, he said cadets and officers will start with a mile walk, eventually working up to a run and other activities at later meetings.

“It helps the cops to get in better shape, too,” he said.

There is no cost to attend the group and Thompson said staff will made up of volunteers, at no cost to the village of Proctorville.

“It doesn’t cost us a thing, but, if we don’t intervene in the lives of kids in the community, it will cost us in the long run,” he said.

Thompson said the group has been sponsored by Proctorville Kroger, who are providing 50 T-shirts, as well as the Bargain Barn and others.

He said the group is looking for more sponsors, to provide things like refreshments or a screen for Power Point presentations.

Thompson said anyone seeking more information can join the Proctorville Youth Police Academy page on Facebook or call him at

304-417-1962. There is no need to pre-register and he suggests attendees arrive early on Friday to fill out sign up information.