West Orange Junior Public Safety Academy helps foster community policing

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — A ceremonial sendoff was held for 90 cadets of the 2021 West Orange Junior Public Safety Academy at Liberty Middle School on July 2. Proud parents and family members filled the gym in support during the hour-long ceremony. Town officials were also on hand to congratulate the cadets. 

The free program is for West Orange youth between the ages of 10 and 14 and run by Sgt. Edwin Diaz of the West Orange Police Department. Diaz is assisted by many fellow officers in a scaled-down version and environment of an actual police academy. The two-week course encourages responsible citizenship, good peer behavior and communication skills. Having fun is also a key element, but the primary goal is to foster an understanding of the law and respect among individuals at a critical age of development. 

Photos Courtesy of Joseph Fagan