Sioux City Police Department celebrates its largest Youth Academy graduating class

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The Sioux City Police Department celebrated its largest graduating class of the Youth Academy on Tuesday night.

The Youth Academy is a five-week program that gives local high school students an inside look at a day in the life of local police officers. The program is offered to enhance the relationship between youth and the police department. It’s also an opportunity for students to learn more about possible careers in law enforcement.

Over the course of five weeks, students have had the opportunity to participate in police driving courses, work with the K-9 unit, get an inside look the SWAT team operations, and learn some defensive tactics. Not much work has been done in the classroom because officers say it’s important to engage the students with real equipment to give them the full experience.

Some of the students were surprised to see just how much our police officers do.

“The most surprising was learning how they did investigations. Because they showed us pictures and like how they went through stuff like the traffic stops. There was actually a lot more stuff that went into it,” said Jayme Ragar, Youth Academy Participant.

On Tuesday night, Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller congratulated and shook the hands of the 26 graduating students, who celebrated with family and friends at the ceremony.

Chief Mueller hopes the students enjoyed getting an inside look at law enforcement.

“I hope what they take away from it is a better understanding of the police department, maybe a better understanding of their self. And I hope that they feel a connection to us. Because we’ve taught that we’re establishing some lifelong friendships with them. We hope that we are building some lifelong friendships among all of them,” said Rex Mueller, Sioux City Police Chief.

The academy took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, but everyone was excited to be back in action this year.

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