By Cindy Zomar, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Marlborough Police Department was recently notified that they had been awarded a grant for $6,000 from the Marlborough Brigham Family Trust. These funds are to be used for the Youth Police Academy to be held in the summer, primarily for equipment and supplies.
The grant request was written by Lt. Dan Campbell.
“I was involved in the Youth Police Academy program held in 2019, including doing a lot of paperwork, organizing photo releases and such, as well as working with the kids. The Academy is such a win-win for the city,” he said.
“Our officers get to meet the kids and their parents and see the community for what it is. On the other side, the families might see the officers around town, and they remember them, have conversations, form good community partnerships. The long-range goals are to give back to the community, help relationships, and make the community safer,” he added. .
Marlborough Brigham Family Trust
Thanks to the generosity of Marlborough resident Ronald H. Brigham, his estate has been awarding grants of up to $6,000 to local nonprofits to “promote the general good and the community welfare of the Marlborough, Middlesex County area” since the Brigham Family Trust was established. Charitable organizations designated with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status are encouraged to submit requests for funding for innovative programs that benefit the Marlborough community in a 500-word essay. The winning grants are dispersed in December.
Diverse group of participants
At this point, the department plans to keep the age criteria the same for the 2021 Academy. (Because of COVID-19 protocols, the 2020 programs had to be cancelled.) Marlborough residents who are rising seventh graders can fill out applications in mid-March, and the two sessions will run after school is out in June and then again for another week in August. Parents should watch for notices in the local schools as well as social media to know when they can download or pick up an application for their son or daughter.
“We sort of expected there to be more males, but both sessions in 2019 were just about evenly divided between males and females. Personally, I found the girls to be more outgoing, and we had a couple of rock star female athletes that were the fastest in the group and even did more push-ups than the boys,” recalled Campbell.
Topics reflect daily police work
“We got a lot of great advice and ideas from the Hudson Police Department since they have been running a youth academy for years. The idea is to keep the kids busy and engaged, as they thrive in that environment. It’s a good age group; they are mature enough to handle what we offer, and work well in structured environments. Their enthusiasm makes it fun for everyone,” Campbell said.
The topics presented previously included a K9 demonstration, physical fitness, public speaking, defensive tactics, firearm safety, CPR, SWAT uniform and vehicle presentation, an obstacle course, drug recognition, the MILO system simulator, and even a visit from the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing helicopter.
“We will probably feature a lot of the same topics; they worked well for the cadets. Thanks to the grant, we will be able to order the shirts, hats, water bottles and other supplies we’ll need to make it a memorable experience for the kids,” Campbell added.