Youth academy shows students life as a law enforcement officer

Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

Kwayera Mensah, North Star graduate has always wanted to be a law enforcement officer.

"So when I heard about the opportunity to work with cops and officers and see what they do each day she jumped on the opportunity,” she said.

The opportunity, the Youth Law Enforcement Academy, held by Lincoln Police and Lancaster County school resource officers.

High schoolers from Lincoln and Lancaster County schools are invited to spend a few days training like police recruits.

"The goal is to connect, because when we’re at school,” Deputy Amanda May said. “We have a different role and so out here we get to show them who we really are and what we do for a living."

The students got to step into the role of police officers, taking on many different aspects of the job.

"Building techniques, control tactics like handcuffing, introduced them to the canine unit,” May said. “We got the helicopter to come out from NSP, we just did crimes in progress, all sorts of different things to allow them to see what we do."

One thing that surprised Mensah about police work is the underlying purpose behind all they do, she said.

"Their whole structure is based on how to keep a situation from escalating and becoming a danger to yourself and they’re less violent, they wanna keep everyone safe,” Mensah said. They’re kind of like heroes."

A hero, she can’t wait to become.

"I’m going to study criminology and criminal justice at UNL,” Mensah said. “Wnd then when I’m 21 apply to be a part of the Lincoln Police Department."