63 graduate from Junior Police Academy hosted by the Valley Police Department

Published 10:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2021

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VALLEY — A total of 63 youngsters in the 5 to 11-year-old age group received certificates Friday morning at Valley Community Center marking their completion of this year’s City of Valley Junior Police Academy. The city’s incoming police chief, Mike Reynolds, thanked them for their interest in taking the week-long course and completing it on schedule.

Reynolds was the guest speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony held inside the Community Room. He asked the assembled group what they liked best about the week, and got lots of different answers.

“Dodge ball!” some yelled. “The water sports!” said another, and “the eats!” said one youngster.

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“I know you have had fun playing games and doing lots of different things,” Reynolds said. “You have also seen what our public safety officers can do. Officers always do the right thing, and you can, too. Just listen to that voice inside your head that tells you to do the right thing. Twenty years from now, you youngsters will be our leaders. Some of you will be wearing the uniform of a public safety officer or running for elective office.”

Reynolds told the youngsters he appreciated them taking part in this year’s Junior Police Academy and wished them a safe and happy rest of the summer.

“You will be back in school this fall,” he said. “We hope you do well, and we’d like for you to be back in next year’s Junior Police Academy.”

School Resource Officer Lt. Sandra Crim thanked the parents, grandparents and guardians of the children who took part in the Junior Police Academy. Many of them filled a section of seats on the left side of the Community Room. “We couldn’t have done what we did this week without our counselors. We are so grateful to you,” Crim said to much applause from the group of parents. “They showed these kids lots of love this week. When they fell and got a boo boo, it was a counselor who put on a Band Aid. It was a counselor who put on an ice pack when their feet were sore.”

Counselors receiving certificates included Samantha Gray, Rush Nelson, Sam Smith, Jacob Robertson, Ethan Brooks, Rayce Edmonson, Maddie Davis, Remi Gauntt, Donavan Stephens, Darius Stephens, Katelyn DeLoach, Eli Whorton, Charlie Quinton, Carter Chambley, Lyric Sturges, Bryant Bassett, Trina Green, Sylvia Gresham, Christin Doyal, LaJuanna Howell, Mary Crenshaw, Jennifer Champion, Stephen Doyal, Tseyonka Davidson, Brian Yates, Shirley Dickinson and Kade Riley.

Local police officers were thanked for the demonstrations they made for the children. Firefighters from the East Alabama Fire District showed them how they use emergency equipment; Sgt. Keegan Daniel, a K-9 officer with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, showed them how drug dog Otos goes through a search; Sgt. Wayne Hattaway of Valley Police Department’s Animal Recovery Unit talked about animal control; Sgt. Chris Davis of VPD showed them the operations of a drone and Chief Deputy Richard Carter of CCSO talked about flying a helicopter.

Sponsors for this year’s Junior Police Academy included McDonalds, Da Grub Spot, Boyd’s Screen Printing, Victor McCarden, Big Momma’s Ice Cream Truck, Coca-Cola, B&W Heating and Air, Terri’s Mill Village Cafe, the Chambers County Development Authority, Chief Tommy Weldon and the City of Valley mayor and council.

Children receiving certificates included Kaden Adamson, Bentley Bolt, Braylon Bolt, Kylee Bonner, Maximus Caldwell, Kaleb Carter, Kalen Carter, Ansley Chandler, Reid Chandler, Jamison Chappell, Aiden Climer, Elizabeth Conway, Kolbie Conway, Bruce Coulter, Lauren Dempsey, Addison Dickinson, Presley Dickinson, Elizabeth Drew, Kamry Elder, C.J. Glaze, Carter Hadaway, Crimson Harris, Jacob Howell, Layonnie Howell, L.J. Howell, Jaxon Ledbetter, Charlotte Maddux, Tristyn Maddux, Dominic McCants, Drevion McKenzie, Cory Meacham, Jase Meigs, Gabriel Menoza, Christopher Nelson, Briceon Norgard, Jaxston Overcash, Kaleb Pate, Karter Pate, Rush Pendley, James Robinson, Maddox Saddler, Mason Saddler, William Smith, Darielle Stephens, Dariyah Stephens, Savanna Swann, Colt Terry, Tanner Thompson, Tucker Thompson, Luke Tice, Bryce Tollison, Noah Tollison, Austin Van Meter, Dixie Vaughn, Kimberly Vaughn, Aiden Weldon, Avery Weldon, Emma Weldon, Jacob Weldon, Daniel Whitehead and Timothy Whitehead.