ROCKINGHAM— The Rockingham Police and Fire Department partnered this week to provide a better understanding of law enforcement and fire safety to 61 young cadets.
Children from 11 to 17-years-old attended classes throughout the week, where they learned the importance of traffic laws, fire department operations, and even crime scene investigations.
On Monday, Chief William Kelly gave an introduction to the cadets, followed by a rundown of patrol procedures, vehicle inspection, officer equipment and a tour of the department by Captain Richard Greene. Later that afternoon, Lieutenant Detective Gillenwater and Det. Culbreth provided a descriptive introduction to drug patrol, while Lt. Ansley carried on with important K9 information.
Assistant team leader of SWAT Det. Brigman and Sergeant Ricks with SWAT and Traffic, laid down the ground rules for Tuesday’s class. Brigman gave cadets an up-close look at a weapons bag and demonstrated the proper use of a battering ram. Sgt. Ricks said that although they are provided various weapons and equipment, the key to staying protected is being alert.
“I’m glad you all are here taking time out of your summer to see exactly what we do,” said Sgt. Ricks.
Det. Brigman, who grew up in East Rockingham, mentioned his love for Rockingham and how he wanted to help his hometown, which is ultimately why he chose law enforcement. Ricks and Brigman went on to explain that this is not a job that one takes simply for the money, and even asked the cadets why they wanted to join in the future. Many of them explained that they simply wanted to serve and protect others. Even after their job is done for the day, the duo insisted to the young cadets that their “day” is not yet over. Procedure, prayer and a recap are all important, the officers noted. Det. Paxton later joined to give an introduction to crime scenes, and the cadets finished their day with a tour and CPR procedures at the Rockingham Fire Department.
Wednesday consisted of more fire department procedures, where cadets were given instruction on the proper use of equipment. On Thursday, the cadets met once more with the fire staff for further instruction and an afternoon swim at Browder Park.
The Junior Police and Fire Academy is one of the many summer outreach programs that community leaders have launched in an effort to raise awareness. For more information, please visit www.gorockinghampd.com.