Junior police academy a hit in Cloverdale

Cloverdale kids luck out with a visit from the Air One helicopter and a friendly German Shepherd puppy.

Children at the Surrey RCMP's Jr. Police Academy in Cloverdale meet Roxi

It was a record turnout for a full day of police training for 100 Junior RCMP Constables who were put through their paces in Cloverdale last week.

Presented by the Surrey RCMP and the City of Surrey’s parks and recreation department, the Junior Police Academy program is open to children aged six to 10.

On Aug. 18, 100 children turned out for the one-day session, the largest turnout in the event’s eight-year history, Sgt. Shelly Jacobsen said.

Participants attended classes in drill instruction, crime scene investigation, and took a modified version of the fitness test that’s mandatory for RCMP officers.

The Junior Police Academy program, offered for five days each August – rotating through North Surrey, Guildford, Newton, Cloverdale and South Surrey – is free.

Depending on availability, activities may also include police dog demonstrations or a visit from the RCMP helicopter.

The Cloverdale kids lucked out; Air One flew by Martha Currie Elementary – the school hosting the training session – during the afternoon portion.

They also got to meet Roxi, a three-and-a-half-month old purebred German shepherd who was born to be a police dog, but didn’t make it into the program.

Instead, she was adopted by Surrey Cst. John Wilson, a father of three who took her home as a family pet.

Wilson was among the many Mounties taking part in the session.

Each clad in dark blue T-shirts, the young participants also got a closer look at police ATVs, patrol cars and motorcycles outside on the school play field.

The children earn Junior Mountie badges and cap the day off with an inspection by a senior RCMP officer – in this case, Insp. Garry Begg, who presided over a ceremony inside the school gymnasium.