High School students attend annual Monmouth County Sheriff’s Youth Week
More than 100 Jersey Shore high school students took part in law enforcement training drills this week during the 27th annual Monmouth County Sheriff's Youth Week.
The students arrived every day this week by 7:45 am and began with a drill and ended the day at 4:00 pm following a drill exercise.
In between the morning and afternoon exercises students developed decision making skills, were given a crime scene walk-through, learned about motor vehicle stops, gang and drug awareness, bike safety, K-9 training, opioid awareness and practiced on virtual firearms and motor vehicle simulators among other drills and lessons.
There were also Interactive sessions which included mock drills from the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the Monmouth County Emergency Response Team, MOCERT.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden says students also practiced motor vehicle stops and trained on the Situational Training And Response Simulator and the VirTra Simulator, a decision making and tactical firearms virtual threat simulator.
"We want to show them all of the equipment that law enforcement uses, whether it's our dive teams, our tactical teams, our K-9's and everyday training that we do at the police academy," Golden said.
He said they rotate different drills each year to give different experiences to the students who come back to learn more about law enforcement.
"We change it up every year and try to give them a different experience because some kids have been through this before and they've come back here and those are the ones who we foresee and our hopeful will have a very bright career in law enforcement," Golden said.
Many of the students who return each year are the ones they go on to successful careers in law enforcement.
"We've had graduates from Sheriff's Youth Week go on to law enforcement careers down in Maryland, Virginia and in my hometown of Howell," Golden said. "Some of them come back and volunteer after they're passed the age requirement and helped out with Sheriff's Youth Week and later on have gone onto the police academy themselves and become successful partners in law enforcement in our communities."
James O'Toole of Keyport said taking part in sheriff’s youth week has risen his level of excitement for a career in law enforcement and follow in his father’s footsteps.
"My father is a police officer so that's one of the reasons I signed up this week but I may want to have a career in law enforcement so I really thought this (Youth Week) would be a good experience to see what I would be going through in the future," O'Toole said.
While Sheriff’s Youth Week was a good head start for O'Toole, he says he still has to prove himself and wait for his time to come at the academy.
Ava Gregorio, who will be entering into her sophomore year at Colts Neck High School in the fall, has several takeaways from Sheriff's Youth Week including how to conduct a motor vehicle stop.
"I learned all about distracted driving," Gregorio said. "I didn't know how many people actually get into car accidents from distracted driving and I also learned how it's better to be respectful and calm when a police officer comes to your car after being pulled over."
Gregorio also encourages other high school students to consider signing up for the Monmouth County Sheriff's Youth Week next year and for years after that.
"I think that it's a great opportunity to come and you get your eyes opened to a lot of new perspectives," Gregorio said.
Here's a look at what students learned during Youth Week: