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Emmitsburg trains its jr. deputies

(7/7) “Do you have any bombs?” asked 11-year-old Marissa Wiles.

No, Marissa wasn’t a would-be terrorist. She was just the opposite. She was training to be a Jr. Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy at the Jr. Deputy Academy in Emmitsburg on June 30.

Marissa was one of more than 100 children who attended the academy which ran during the morning and early afternoon. The children work through stations that give them a close-up look at police vehicles, K-9 units, SWAT operations, the science behind crime scene investigations and more.

Though the deputy demonstrating SWAT operations didn’t have a bomb, he did detonate a smoke grenade that sent a cloud of colored smoke into the air.

“My mom wanted me to come and it sounded like fun,” Marissa said of why she came to the academy.

“You can learn from this and it will help you be safe in your lifetime,” said Kurstin Metz, 11, who found the “Stranger Danger” talk helpful.

At the conclusion of the program, each child received a bag that included a t-shirt, certificate of completion, coloring book and other items.

“We hope we can teach them a little about police work, that police are their friends and about safety,” said Cpl. Michael Grunwell with the sheriff’s office.

He said if they hold another academy next year, they would try to make it different so kids will still be interested.

As it was, the kids had fun. David Shields, 10, had the chance to get outfitted in SWAT gear. He said the gear was heavy but his father is in the army so he’s worn similar gear before.

Angie Welty brought her son to the program after reading about it in the newspaper. “I think it’s good teaching material. I think they hear a lot that can be really useful to them,” she said.


- Robert A. Rosensteel Sr. / The Dispatch

A Frederick County sheriff’s deputy sets off a smoke grenade to show youngsters part of a SWAT team’s tactical operations during the sheriff’s office Jr. Deputy Program in Emmitsburg on June 30.

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