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Middletown Transcript
  • Middletown Police Youth Academy graduates 17

  • The two-week long Middletown Police Youth Academy, which began July 23, taught the group of 17 local boys core values, life skills and discipline.


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  • It took less than two weeks for Chase Porter to become a leader.
    The thirteen-year-old Middletown teen stood behind his 16 peers Aug. 1 at Louis L. Redding Middle School and called out for them to get in formation.
    The boys, all between the ages of 12 and 15, immediately repositioned themselves one behind the other and an arms length apart from the next.
    They then began to march, chanting a cadence in unison.
    “It’s like typical police academy marching,” said Middletown Police Chief Henry Tobin. “The more they do it, the more it makes sense.”
    The two-week long Middletown Police Youth Academy, which began July 23, taught the group of 17 local boys core values, life skills and discipline.
    They graduated Friday.
    “We gave them life experience with different classes and instructors,” said Officer Ronald Davis.
    The group also participated in several community service projects across town, including mulching the front of the middle school and cleaning up the gazebo and pulling weeds at the MOT Senior Center.
    Porter said that his mom signed him up for the Youth Academy this summer.
    At first, he was shy and kind of nervous.
    “I didn’t know everyone,” Porter said. “Then I started getting close to people and getting to know others in the class.”
    Thirteen-year-old William Henry said that his mother signed him up for the two-week program too.
    At first he didn’t want to go, but now he is happy he did.
    Now, both Porter and Henry say they are happy they were signed up.
    “I like being a leader,” Porter said.
    Henry, who is entering the eighth grade at Everett Meredith Middle School, said that he has learned discipline, self respect and to have respect for his elders.
    His mother signed him up to teach him better discipline, he said. Now the Middletown teen says that he is no longer smart mouthing her at home.
    That’s not the only thing he has learned though.
    “It helps us build confidence,” Henry said.
    Each morning starts with marching and standing in formation. Then the boys would do physical training, which included push-ups, jumping jacks and other strength and endurance building exercises.
    There were different classes each day in the afternoon.
    Henry said that his favorite was the one on alcohol.
    “We learned how it’s not good for you,” he said. “And that if you’re at a party with friends who are drinking, don’t drive with them.”
    Class would be followed by lunch, free time and finally more physical training.
    Porter said that he liked learning how do to CPR.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I want to learn how to save people,” he said. “I want to know in case something ever happens to my mom.”
    The class has been a positive experience for all of the boys, Tobin said.
    He said that both Officers Davis and Wormer, who headed the academy, have been great role models for the teens.
    “They now have a better understanding of police officers,” Tobin said.

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