ITEM FILE PHOTO
Jeffery Robles, left, and Aratris Chaviano dust for fingerprints at the Lynn Summer Police Academy.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
LYNN — The Lynn Summer Police Academy has been canceled because of shortfalls in the budget.
The Lynn Police Department posted on its Facebook page Tuesday that the six-week program would not run in the Summer of 2017 because of “severe budget cuts.” Last year, the academy graduated 47 students from the six-week program in its 10th year.
The free academy is broken up into classroom time and hands-on activities with lectures by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lynn Police Department. It’s intended to offer teenagers interested in law enforcement real-life policing experience.
It is organized by student resource officers Bob Hogan, Ryan McDermott, and Mark Lee, who work hands-on with the students, and paid for by the city. More than 90 teens, age 13 to 18, applied last year and 60 were chosen to participate. According to the Facebook post, applications had already begin to flow in for this summer’s program.
The students, or cadets, learn about Lynn’s domestic violence unit, gang unit, drug task force and identification unit. The crime scene reconstruction unit creates a mockup of a scene and challenges the participants to act as detectives and solve the crime.
The cadets go on field trips and learn from agencies that don’t typically offer such services, McDermott said. A trip to the State House, Gillette Stadium, both Lynn courthouses, Middleton House of Corrections, and a ride on a State Police boat were just a few of the group’s adventures last year.
Police Chief Michael Mageary told the City Council’s Public Safety and Public Health Committee in April his department is operating with 181 officers, down from about 193 in 2013. Based on next year’s budget and contractual obligations, he predicted the trend would continue. Last year, the department downsized to six patrol cars with two officers in each, from six one-person patrol cars and four, two-person cars, he said.
“We hope to bring this program back in 2018. We apologize to everyone who already submitted an application,” the post reads.