Jr. Police Cadets cited by VFW post

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    HAMBURG-The Veterans Day salute to the Viet Nam war veterans was a big day for the Junior Police Cadets, as they participated in a parade and reading of the names of Sussex County citizens who gave their lives during that war. For their contribution, they were awarded a certificate of excellence by Ogdensburg Police Chief George Lott. Several officers and volunteers were in attendance, including Patrolman Eric Aronson and Terry Hospodar from the sheriff's department. During the course of their regular meeting, the cadets were given a demonstration by Det. Jan Wright on the proper use of handcuffs. But before Wright's demo, several cadets gave a presentation of the research they had been assigned giving information as to where various police equipment was invented and by whom. Research is often assigned to the cadets in preparation for an upcoming meeting. Cadet volunteers participated in the demonstration as the rest of the corps watched completely engrossed in the event. These youngsters in grades 4-8, asked many insightful and probing questions. A goal of the program is to "teach that if you aren't playing by the rules, there are consequences." Wright also noted that there may be "good consequences, for instance, for being on the honor role." Recruitment last year was intense. "If we get one, we usually get three of their friends," said Wright. As a result of a successful recruitment campaign last year to fourth graders, one-third of the new contingent are fifth graders. There are approximately 81 graduates who are now attending high school. "They are very good role models" for the younger students, said Wright, and "they continue to have a good relationship with the police department." Pleased to see former cadets return to assist in meetings, Wright said, "Going into high school, they no longer have that ‘cuddly, warm Hamburg feeling.'" When they return, "they are like big fish in a little pond again." Hamburg's program is the only one that continues throughout the entire school year. Other programs operate during the summer, but "ours meets twice a month, September to June," added Wright. Officer Wright teaches at the Police Academy and emphasized the need for the cooperation of the school employees. "They know how to teach children," he said. "And we know how to teach police - it works together."