Junior Police Academy

Juniors Handling Evidence

Dates for the 2024 Junior Police Academy

  • 2024 Dates - 
    • July 15 to August 1, 2023
    • Monday through Thursday
    • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Phone: 616-355-1140
  • This program is offered at no cost to participants or their families.

Details of the Academy

The Academy Each summer the Holland Police Department will host a Junior Police Academy for 7th and 8th graders (for students who have just completed the 6th or 7th grade). There will be one academy which will run for three weeks. Class sessions will be Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. A mid-morning snack will be provided, and field-trip transportation will be by Max Bus.

Also, travel to and from home and the Academy may be arranged on a case-by-case basis, depending on family needs.

Day to Day

Each day will consist of classroom instruction and a recreation period. Classroom instruction will either be listening to speakers from various agencies or on a field trip. There will be designated "fun days" where we will be going to the movies or Craig's Cruisers. All materials needed for the "classroom" will be provided.

JPA Mock CrashTopics of Discussion

A variety of topics will be covered during the four weeks. Topics will include:

  • The 911 system
  • Court and Probation system
  • Crime Scene Investigation (including a mock crime scene)
  • Discussions about "Creating a Perfect Society/Creating Laws", "Cultural Sensitivity/Prejudice", and "Goal Setting/Responsibility" will be included
  • Firearms/Use of Force
  • Holland Fire Department
  • Traffic Enforcement (including a mock crash)


The Finale of the Junior Police Academy will consist of a Graduation Ceremony (parents are invited to attend).


The Junior Police Academy will consist of about 40 students, combined from Holland area Middle School students, and Vanderbilt Charter Academy, Holland Christian Middle School, and Black River public schools. If room allows, students from outside the Holland District may attend. Selection is based on interest and input from school faculty and School Resource Officers. We will require the student to have 100% attendance (unless sick or other excused absence) and behavior similar to attending school. If the student cannot attend a majority of the sessions, he/she will not graduate and another student will replace them.

Goals & Objectives for the Academy

  • Offer student opportunities to learn and understand the workings of the Holland Police Department and the Criminal Justice System.
  • Give students a sense of community ownership and how the Criminal Justice System fits into serving the community. Also, show the students how the "team" or community concept of work is used between area Police, Fire, and the Citizens to work together in a partnership.
  • Add structure during the summer vacation.

Criteria for Student Selection

  • Have successfully completed the 6th or 7th grade.
  • Have no serious history of aggravated assaults or weapons violations. A case by case review will be conducted.
  • Interest in attending and contributing to the academy.
  • A student with no gang affiliation and any student seeking a way to leave the gang/violent environment. A student who feels trapped by gangs/violence.
  • Those committed to changing their attitude and lifestyle and/or are interested in Law Enforcement.
  • Recommendations from the School Resource Officer and school faculty.
  • Allow faculty to pre-select high risk, middle, and low-risk students who have a compatible blend.
  • Parents will be invited to meet with the Junior Police Academy representative and must consent in writing to commit their son or daughter to attend.
  • Allow for a substitute roster in case those initially starting the academy fail to attend.
  • No gang attire or any other mode of dress which is deemed inappropriate by officers will be allowed (i.e.: colors, music groups, short shirts/shorts, etc).
  • While the academy is in session, it will be treated as a "closed campus" session (no one leaving before classes/activities have ended).

Rules of Conduct & Expectations

  • Must be respectful at all times.
  • No put-downs.
  • No swearing.
  • No short shorts or cut off t-shirts. Attire required is:
    • All recruits will wear matching t-shirts provided by HPD, or student-provided white t-shirts.
    • Shorts must be knee length or mid thigh.
    • Wear tennis shoes every day.
  • No gang attire, signs, or language.
  • No weapons.
  • Must remain Violence-free, Gang free, and Drug-free.
  • Have 100% attendance.
  • Must participate in class.
  • Must be on time for all activities.
  • A phone call to Officer N. Hamberg is mandatory if a student is ill or will not be able to attend.

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Dismissal from the Program

The established rules and expectations must be followed by all students. If any student chooses to go against the rules or not follow through with the expectations it will be grounds for dismissal from the program.