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Demopolis Public Safety gears up for annual Youth Leadership Academy

The Demopolis Public Safety Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is accepting applications from all Marengo County students aged 11-15 who are interested in making friends, learning about public safety and gaining leadership skills.

“Everybody has that [leadership] quality inside of them that has to be enhanced, and I think this program would be something good to do that,” Public Safety Director Tommie Reese said.

The YLA recently expanded to a two-week program taking place June 11-June 23 and now accepts students from all over the county.

“If it’s good for Demopolis, it’s good for the entire county. So, I’ve expanded it for the entire county,” Reese said.

Applications are due June 4 and must include an essay about why the students wish to attend the YLA and what leadership means to them. A physical exam from a doctor is also required before a student is accepted into the program.

Reese said that students will participate in a variety of activities including various leadership exercises, a fishing trip, a visit to the Selma bridge and a trip to Montgomery. Students will also learn about the police and fire departments and the court system during the program.

“They’ll get a chance to go through leadership exercises … [and] learn about public safety. They’ll learn about what police and fire do on a day-to-day basis,” Reese said.

Meals and snacks are provided in the YLA. It starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. with some occasional variations due to field trips.

To apply, visit demopd.org and click the “Resources” tab at the top of the web page. Under “Community Programs,” click the link “Youth Leadership Academy.” The application can be found towards the bottom of the page.

The Demopolis Police Department is also asking for donations to help cover expenses for the YLA. Checks can be made payable to the Demopolis Youth Leadership Academy and can be dropped off or mailed to the police department on 301 E. Washington Street.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, May 5 issue of the Demopolis Times.)