By Edie Johnson
County Executive Steve Neuhaus, home from training and about to go on Naval deployment, made a stop at the City of Newburgh Police Department to present a check for $5,000 to the Junior Police Cadet Program. The brainchild, Neuhaus said, of Newburgh Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan, with input from District Attorney David Hoovler, is one of the first programs that incoming Chief of Police Doug Soloman had a chance to help push forward. Other officials including Mayor Torrence Harvey and Acting City Manager Joe Donat were also there and spoke of the many benefits of the program. The teenagers, mostly recruited from Newburgh Free Academy, first attend a Summer Camp program where they get to know police policies and have a chance to interact with the department as well as do some occasional fun activities such as fishing and BBQ’s. With a taste of the actual varieties involved in doing police work, connect to officers in the department, it creates a new level of bonding between the department and the greater Newburgh Community. In a Powerpoint presentation it was pointed out that academy students also participate in fundraising efforts to aid the recruitment and study programs.
Whenn they move on to the Police Cadet Program the students, clearly very alert and eager, face a more intensive educational program as well as physical training; learning tasks such as fingerprinting, and getting a sense of how police work actually intersects with legal aspects, corrections work and the like. Some that finish the Academy may go on to become officers while others pursue related fields, or have simply expanded their education in a field of interest.