Individuals ages 14 to 18 are participating in West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Youth Criminal Justice Academy this week at the Wood County 4-H grounds. The program is a weeklong residential academy designed to build leadership and teamwork skills necessary for a career in criminal justice. The week concludes with a banquet dinner for participants and their families on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 3 p.m. at WVU Parkersburg’s College Activities Center.
This is the fourth annual youth academy hosted by WVU Parkersburg’s criminal justice program. Each year, students involved in the college’s Criminal Justice Organization serve as instructors and help run the academy. Since the program began in 2010, it has grown from 19 cadets the first year to 40 participants.
Activities throughout the week include demonstrations from local law enforcement agencies, the West Virginia State Police physical agility test, CPR and first aid certification, arrest and cuffing, team competitions and more.
Partners in the Youth Criminal Justice Academy include the West Virginia State Police, Parkersburg Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, West Virginia Department of Corrections, Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.