Last year, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office created a way for youths to get a look into its inner workings with the creation of the Teen Citizens Academy.
The free six-week program was designed to give teens ages 14–18 a hands-on opportunity to learn about the work of sheriff’s deputies and careers in law enforcement.
Saturday afternoon the program produced its first class of graduates. Fifteen teens were honored at the Sheriff’s Administration Building in Largo.
Students participated in the program on consecutive Saturday mornings from June 14 to July 26. While there they got to work with deputies, practice defensive tactics, learn safe and effective use of a firearm and defensive driving techniques, and take a behind-the-scenes look at the sheriff’s office operations.
The inaugural Teen Citizens Academy consisted of Nathan Adkins, Andrew Bearce, Ashley Blaire-Schneck, Jesse Creaser, Doyle Dempsey, Keira Dempsey, T’Nora Dessaw, Melody-Grace Toscano, Troy Hicks, Andrew Hodge, Dion Jackson, Blake Ottinger, Michael Schuller, Daniel Weeks and Darren Weeks.