|Rodriguez attends Colo. State Patrol Youth Academy|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
After a mentally and physically challenging week, 16-year-old Janel Rodriguez can proudly say she successfully completed training at the Colorado State Patrol Youth Academy. Young people from all over the state participated in the program June 20-26 in Golden.
The focus of the academy is on leadership development through team exercises and individual achievement. Rodriguez became familiar with the basic elements of the Colorado State Patrol Academy through a demanding daily training schedule.
Rodriguez said air horns woke them up in the early morning hours, and certain rules needed to be followed such as making her bed properly. Cadets then took part in intense physical training and team building exercises.
Class time taught students about ethics and law enforcement, police communications procedures and the history and philosophy of the Colorado State Patrol. They also got to go observe a dispatch center.
Driving cars on an obstacle course was part of the introduction to law enforcement driving. Rodriguez said they also got to conduct mock traffic stops around the academy’s campus.
Mock crime scene investigations were an interesting part of the week’s activities. Everything had to be done in a certain order so variables could be eliminated and suspects could be identified, said Rodriguez.
Firearm safety and familiarization was also included in the training. Cadets had the opportunity to shoot guns at targets while at the academy.
“There’s a lot more to being a law enforcement officer than we think,” said Rodriguez, thinking back on the many things she learned from the experience.
Even before participating in the youth academy, she was thinking about getting involved in law enforcement after high school. Now after she knows what to expect, the program affirmed her thoughts that she would like to become a state trooper in the future.
Rodriguez will be a junior at Haxtun High School this fall and is the daughter of Domitilo and Minnie Rodriguez of Holyoke.