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On the last night, Walter organizes a graduation, during which teens receive a certificate and T-shirt. They also get to pose for a picture with Chief Rechtzigel.
Susan Sullivan, who showed up to see both of her sons graduate from the program, said she encouraged their attendance. Both Matt Morgan, 14, and Jon Morgan, 16, have been interested in careers in police work or the military since they were little, she said, so it seemed like a good fit.
“I told them to go into it with the attitude to get something out of every night, whatever the topic is,” she said. “They’re both very glad they did it.”
Both her sons gained respect for the profession and now understand how important it is to do exactly what an officer says during a confrontation, she said.
Rechtzigel said the program aligns well with his department’s efforts to connect with young people.
“The youth are our future, and we have to invest in them. That’s what it comes down to,” he said.
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283