FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sent on behalf of the Springfield Westside Optimist Club
The Springfield Police Department and The Springfield Fire Department, in partnership with the Springfield Westside Optimist Club, will be conducting their fourth annual Springfield Junior Police & Fire Academy on June 23 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Springfield Regional Police and Fire Training Center (off Battlefield and Scenic Ave). The Junior Police & Fire Academy is a daylong academy that teaches youth aged 10 to 13 about the Police & Fire Departments. The day will feature classes on becoming a police officer and a firefighter. The classes will include: responding to calls for service, a tour of the Special Response Team equipment, a K-9 demonstration, search and rescue, spraying a fire hose and a bomb squad demo. The day will culminate with a graduation ceremony where certificates and medals will be given to the graduates. There will be 25 boys and girls participating in the Academy and none of this would have been possible without help from the Springfield Police Department, the Springfield Fire Department & the Springfield Westside Optimist Club for sponsoring the event! Also a big thanks to Don Wessel Honda for being our event sponsor, Incredible Pizza, Walmart & McDonalds for providing the food, Actnow promotions for the shirts and BJ’s trophy Shop for helping us with the medals!
“We are really excited to be partnering with the Springfield Police Department and the Springfield Fire Department, on our fourth annual Junior Police & Fire Academy,” says Colby Keeth, President of Springfield West Side Optimist Club, “The last three years have been such a great success and we’re excited to give kids this experience. This program will help give local youth exposure into what it is really like to be a police officer and a fire fighter! From how they respond to calls, to how they spray a fire hose, it should be a great experience for them to work hand in hand with our local Police officers and firefighters".
The Springfield Westside Optimist is a Non-Profit Organization that has been helping kids in Springfield and the Ozarks since 1958. The Optimist's mission is "Bringing out the Best in Kids." Through programs and activities, they provide the support for young people to grow and develop Optimism. Optimism builds character, self- confidence and the ability to become contributing members of our communities.
"We are looking forward to the junior academy again this year because it offers us the opportunity to reach out to the youth of our community, answer their questions about the things law enforcement officers do each day, and forge positive relationships," said Police Chief Paul Williams. "Our hope is that they learn a lot, have a blast at the same time, and maybe, just maybe, spark an interest that will result in a new police recruit down the road."
“We are excited to not only help kids learn what it’s like to be a firefighter, but experience it firsthand,” said Fire Chief David Pennington. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of these young participants.”
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All media are welcome to drop in throughout the day to see how the kids are getting involved. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Aaron Lesure or Colby Keeth at (417)988-3163 & (417)818-3284 or email at [email protected] or [email protected].