FT. MCCOY, Wis. (WKBT) - A new program gives high school students a taste of what's it’s like to be in law enforcement.
For the first time, the Wisconsin American Legion is hosting a Law Enforcement Career Academy at Fort McCoy this week.
The week-long program gives high school students a sense of the different careers in law enforcement.
West Salem Senior Nathan Selck has dreamed of wearing the badge since he was 10 years old.
"I love helping people. Love doing little things to just make people's days better,” Selck said.
Selck is at the first ever Law Enforcement Career Academy, put on by the Wisconsin American Legion.
"What these young people are being exposed to are the actual training, whether it's defense and arrest tactics or emergency vehicle operations, the different factors that come into play during crisis management,” David Kurtz, state adjutant for the Wisconsin American Legion.
40 students from around the state are learning about what it's like to be in law enforcement.
"If they're interested in pursuing a law enforcement career, this gives them a little bit of insight, so when they graduate from high school, if they're going to pursue a career, they can attend Wisconsin Technical Colleges or they can join the military or the different career paths to actually becoming a law enforcement officer,” Kurtz said.
Organizers hope the academy encourages those interested in law enforcement to pursue their careers right here in Wisconsin.
"Some of the best law enforcement people in our communities are people we can recruit directly from the community,” Kurtz said.
After a few days at the Academy, Selck remains committed to his passion.
"It's been very beneficial,” Selck said. “(It’s been) a lot of talking from high ranking officials -- just going through everyday lives of what it takes to be a police officer."
He hopes one day he can make a difference in his community.
"I love helping people. That's the main reason I joined this academy,” Selck said.
Over 100 students applied for the program. Of the 40 students that were selected, 19 are girls, and 21 are boys.
Organizers said they were very pleased with the diversity of the applicants.
All of the workers this week are volunteers from around the state.
The program is free of charge thanks to donations to the Wisconsin American Legion.
Individuals can send donations to the Wisconsin American Legion at P.O. Box 388, Portage, WI 53901.
They can also call (608) 745-1090 for more information.
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