Teens graduate in MNPD's first-ever Youth Citizen Police Academy - WSMV News 4

Teens graduate in MNPD's first-ever Youth Citizen Police Academy

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(Source: Mayor Megan Barry / Twitter) (Source: Mayor Megan Barry / Twitter)

Forty-four young men graduated from the Metro Police Department's first-ever Youth Citizen Police Academy on Friday.

The graduates accepted their diplomas at a special ceremony held at the Midtown Hills Precinct.

Metro police worked with the group called 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee to find the 44 teens who completed the program. 

The program is designed to give the teens a better understanding of what it's like to be a police officer and change some of their preconceived notions. 

"I thought maybe they were like, oh we have to get the job done exactly, we have no time for anything else, but I realized they'll be sitting there and they'll walk over to a bunch of kids playing basketball, and you know, if they have time, they can just sit there and talk," said 17-year-old Andrew Schulte, who is among the graduates.

In order to graduate, the teens had to attend three meetings over the summer.

They saw demonstrations by the SWAT team, toured the crime lab and had frank discussions about police work with Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson.

While the program does not make the teens certified police officers, several graduates say they would like to be police officers in the future.

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