Nearly a dozen Champaign County kids took their turn running through a mini-obstacle course and even carrying a 180 pound dummy. Today was the first day for the Youth Police Academy. For kids, it's a fun way to learn more about police and what they do.
13 year old Jerrin Moffit says, " I've learned a lot about police, what they do how they handle situations. I('m about to go on an obstacle course which will be real fun."
Champaign police officer Jonathan Westfield says the goals is, "we want to give them a better understanding of what we do in law enforcement so that it dispels a lot of myths and questions people have about what we do and justifications on why we take certain actions and why we respond to certain situations."
School resource officers like Westfield are running the program. They say it's a good way to build a strong relationships between cops and kids.
Other topics in the session will touch on crime scene investigations, use of force and team building.
Three more sessions are planned for the summer. For more information, call the Champaign Police department.