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Foster youth learn about careers in law enforcement


It was introduced as a job shadowing opportunity, but the event felt more like a condensed version of the Citizen Police Academy.

Earlier this month a dozen local foster youth were exposed to nearly every aspect of what it might be like to pursue a career in law enforcement with the Apopka Police Department.

The day started with a tour of the police department headquarters with Officer Jason Wiggins. The children got to watch a couple of actual red-light-ticket videos and then were shown how crime evidence is handled by patrol officers.

After a question and answer session in the patrol officer briefing room they then were given a tour of the area where arrestees are processed before being transported to the Orange County Jail.


Next the group drove 1.5 miles to the Gilliam Training facility on Cleveland street where officers demonstrated the abilities of two of Apopka's K9 officers, Valor and Jet.

The group then moved over to the Apopka's MRAP SWAT vehicle.

Inside the training building Detective Steven Landry made a presentation describing the duties of police detectives. The youth were then given an overview of how crime scene investigative work actually happens. Everyone was surprised to learn that it took days and weeks, not minutes for crime scene evidence to be analyzed.

So much for those TV crime shows!

Everyone then had an opportunity to try their hand at lifting fingerprints from a mock crime scene.

The day ended with a demonstration of APD's Fire Arm Training Simulator (FATS). FATS is a tool used by APD to train officers in marksmanship and judgement. The simulator uses video game technology to put the officer into a real-life scenario where split-second life or death decisions must be made.

The event was organized by Community Based Care of Central Florida Youth Services in conjunction with Goodwill Industries and City of Life Foundation. It was part of a job shadow series that gives youth in foster care the chance to experience a wide variety of occupations. Previous job shadow events have been hosted at EA Sports, Florida Hospital and Rosen Hotels.

As part of their youth services programs, Community Based Care of Central Florida partners with universities, businesses, and child welfare agencies to make a long-term investment in youth that can change the course of their lives, taking them from abuse and neglect to academic achievement and self-sufficiency.


Apopka Police Department, City of Life Foundation, Community Based Care of Central Florida Youth Services, Goodwill Industries


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