(Lee County Sheriff's Office)

The Lee County Sheriff's Office hosted the first ever "Lee County Junior Deputy Academy" this past Saturday.

Parents from all over the county signed their children up to attend the event, which was open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.

The Lee County Junior Deputy Academy was created by Sheriff Garrett Durrenberger for children who have an avid interest in Law Enforcement and are eager to learn more from the deputies who work in their community.

The academy provided a basic understanding of what deputies do through educational hands-on activities and experiences, along with classroom presentations.

The program focuses on the Lee County Sheriff's Office core values which are Courtesy, Honesty, Integrity, and Purpose; encouraging each participant to continue to practice these values long after they graduate from the program.

The program consisted of a full eight-hour day at the Law Enforcement Center.

The children learned about basic first-aid, cyber safety, stranger danger, bully prevention, physical fitness, patrol functions, and mock tactical operations.

Highlights of the day included a mock crime scene, where the junior deputies had to apply their knowledge to investigate an outdoor scene and identify the suspect.

A graduation ceremony was held at the end of the day, with parents, grandparents, and friends in attendance. Junior Deputies recited their oath of office and received their metal badge and certificate from Sheriff Durrenberger.

Durrenberger said that their goal is to engage and stay connected with the citizens of Lee County, which obviously includes the youth.

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