Breaking News
More () »

Junior Police Academy aims to inspire kids to join police force

The Junior Police Academy is showing children what it really is like to be a police officer.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — Ever wonder what it's like to be a police officer? Well, Old Orchard Beach students got real-life experience with police officers at the Junior Police Academy.

Nikki Duplisea not only runs the Junior Police Academy, but she also grew up in Old Orchard Beach and was a student in the program herself. 

"Full circle," she said. "It's been 22 years for me here." 

She spoke about the Junior Police Academy at the Old Orchard Beach Police Department. 

Several first- through fifth graders finished the Cadet 1 program on Tuesday. They spent four weeks learning what police officers really do. For some students, though, this program is about much more. 

"I think I might do all of the cadet levels, and then after high school I am going to go to college to be a police officer," Carter Dupuis, a third grader in the training program, said. 

Dupuis' heart is set on being a police officer, for reasons bigger than himself.

When NEWS CENTER Maine asked him why he wanted to be a police officer, he said this: "I really just want to be a better person than my birth parents were."

Dupuis' birth parents struggle with substance use disorders, both having spent time in jail. Dupuis was taken out of their custody and placed with his uncle. He found out the truth about learned about his birth parents' struggles with addiction in 2021. Now, he wants to be a light of encouragement to others.

"If you are somebody that has made bad choices, it's not too late to change," Dupuis said.

Students like Dupuis make Duplisea's job worth it every day, she said.  

Anyone who wants to register their child for this program can click here. The next cadet training starts in January.  

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories


Before You Leave, Check This Out