Academy introduces children to law enforcement duties

John Hacker

Eleven children got a crash course in law enforcement during the Jasper County Sheriff's Office's recent Junior Sheriff's Academy.

"I sort of expected this academy would be really easy and we'd sit there and watch them," said Kahlie Jones, 11, Carthage. "Actually they do a lot harder job than I expected."

Jones and 10 other young people from Jasper, Sarcoxie and Joplin spent the week at the Jasper County Sheriff's Office hearing from the professionals and learning about the job of sheriff's deputy from the inside.

Sheriff's Lt. Tom Crossley said this was the first Junior Sheriff's Academy, and the department plans two more next year.

Crossley said he and Sheriff Archie Dunn hope this will lead to the creation of a citizen's law enforcement academy, similar to the one held in Joplin at the Missouri Southern Police Academy.

Crossley said the students learned about the office's patrol division, criminal investigation division, animal control, SWAT, and the K9 division.

The Sheriff's Office defensive tactics instructor explained the importance of being able to take suspects into custody while using the least amount of force necessary and demonstrated several of the techniques used to do so. 

Crossley said the academy was a chance for children to see officers as positive role models.

Carthage Press