LODI, N.J. — The 2015 Lodi Junior Police Academy got under way this week. New recruits were broken up into platoons and assigned color shirts to represent each unit.
On the first night, participants learned of the importance of physical education, the hazards of drinking and driving, vehicle safety, and motor vehicle stops performed by Lodi police.
The academy is open to seventh-grade pupils at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Throughout the program, cadets will be exposed to a variety of issues -- alcohol and peer pressure, among them -- as well as demonstrations by specialized units, including the Bergen County Bomb Squad.
They'll go on a trip to the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute (a.k.a., the Police and Fire Academy) in Mahwah to work with instructors, training on the same grounds as young new police officers.
The cadets will also see a demonstration at the pistol range, as well one in which firefighters conduct a "controlled burn," and tour the Public Safety Operations Center, where communications are handled for police, firefighters and EMS for various Bergen County towns, including Lodi.