Teens in Jackson learn what it takes to wear the badge

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – Police departments all across Michigan are always looking for their next round of recruits.

For seven weeks now, teens in Jackson have been learning what it takes to wear the badge. It’s allowed them to get a firsthand look at how police in their community do their jobs.

We’re talking about everything from crime scene investigations, to drug busts, and firearm simulators.

They’re even getting the chance to interact with the K9 unit there.

It all adds up to a very real look at how much happens at the department every day.

“I definitely want to do this when I get older so it’s definitely helped me see what I want to do,” Liberty Leimenstoll said.

“I definitely see how much stress and how much you really have to do to be a police officer and all of the steps you have to take to make sure everything is safe and go smoothly,” Danielle Rand said. “And if something does go south, how to take all the steps to make it.”

And speaking of the Jackson Police, we’re getting a look at how people living in Jackson feel about the department.

A survey went out to 3,500 people back in April; A third of people who were polled said they believe the overall community has negative views of the police department.

However, 90 percent of them said they personally have a positive view of the department, while only eight percent reported no positive interactions.

Jackson’s Director of Police and Fire Services, Elmer Hitt, said “This survey underscores the police department’s commitment to excellence. We’ll always strive to improve, and while most interactions from respondents were positive, there are things to learn from those who held negative views.”

The Spring Arbor University Sociology Professor, Dr. John Hawthorne, was in charge of the survey. He plans to brief the Jackson City Council on the results at a future meeting.

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