Police Chief Michael L. Lyle reports that this summer’s Junior Police Academy more than doubled its participation from the previous year, drawing 106 children from Melrose to the program.
In 2014, 48 students signed up for the academy. Over one-third of those who partook in this year’s classes had returned for the second time.
The Melrose Police Department offered two sessions this month, July 6-10 and July 13-17, for students ages 10-13. Both were held at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School. Classes ran from 8 a.m. to noon daily and were led by Sgt. Chuck Byrne, Officer Jim Applegate and Officer Al Brown. Ten high school and college students also volunteered their time as counselors for the two weeks.
“This year’s program was a huge success and we’re certainly excited to see how popular its become among the community,” Chief Lyle said. “The academy wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the officers at the Melrose Police Department and our community partners.”
Students participated in a daily exercise program on the Melrose High School athletic complex that featured team competitions at the end of the workouts. They also spent time in a classroom atmosphere learning about cyber-safety, bullying, detective functions, traffic and bike safety, police patrol procedures, the department’s motorcycle unit, drug investigations and substance abuse prevention.
Detective Sgt. Paul McNamara, Detective Dan Ehlers, Detective Greg Forestell, Sgt. Jon Goc, Officer Mike Plumer, Officer Rob Mann, Jen Kelly, Lauren Dustin and Maureen Buzby from the Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Rebecca Mooney from the Melrose Alliance Against Violence and volunteer physical trainer Josh Brown assisted with the instruction.
Prior to last year, the academy hadn’t been offered since the early 1980s. With assistance from the community, the Melrose Police Department relaunched the program in the summer of 2014.
Chief Lyle would like to thank the entire community for their support and all the members of the Melrose Police Department for taking time out of their busy summer schedules to contribute to the academy and to provide excellent training and insight into the law enforcement field.
A special thanks to the Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Stephen and Scott from Stephen’s Auto Body and Towing, Superintendent Cyndy Taymore, Brent Conway, Principal at the Melrose Veteran’s Memorial Middle School, the Melrose Alliance Against Violence, Scott Drago and South Pole Slush Inc., the T-Stop Embroidery & Screen Painting in Wakefield, Superior Packaging and Finishing in Braintree and D’Amici’s Bakery for their support and contributions.