Kent State University's Trumbull County campus has announced on Monday that it is offering the Youth Police Academy Experience (YPAE) to high school seniors during the upcoming fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters.

This new program is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in criminal justice. Students who complete this program are eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship to attend Kent State Trumbull during the Fall 2024 semester.

The four-week program begins October 3 and will last until October 24. Sessions will be held each Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The spring program will follow the same schedule and will begin February 27.

Over the course of these four weeks, students will engage in hands-on training such as intoxicated driver detection and prevention, crime scene investigations, traffic stops and utilization of radar and lidar and race relations.

The final sessions of both programs will include an extra hour to celebrate the students with lunch and a scholarship ceremony.

Lori Singer-Bare, a lecturer of the Criminology and Justice Studies program and Peace Officer Training Academy says she hopes local students will take advantage of this program to explore the diverse career opportunities in the criminal justice field.

"We carefully put together this program to give students a well-rounded experience. Our campus is fortunate to have access to great instructors with valuable years of experience," Singer-Bare said.

Singer-Bare went on to say this is part of an effort to curb staffing shortages in police departments across Ohio.

"This is a great time to get into an academy and start a career because there are so many opportunities locally and around the state," Singer-Bare said.

Each program is limited to 50 spots and the deadline to enroll is September 4. Those interested in enrolling in either program can do so here.