INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD is hosting more than 60 students for it’s Teen Academy. The kids will learn about what it is like to IMPD officer from workshops, classroom activities and hands-on experiences.

”Each day is laser focused on one part of what we do,” said IMPD Community and Outreach Bureau Commander Ida Williams.

Monday just after lunch the group split and did “Juvenile Justice Jeopardy” in two separate classrooms. The game teaches the teens about the law and best practices when interacting with police.

”We’re letting them know it’s not what they see on tv, this is the real world,” said Williams

The week is full of different IMPD learning experiences. Teens will learn first hand from different divisions like the crime scene unit, mounted officers and bike patrol officers. They will also be taken through physical fitness portion of IMPD officer training and all it takes to be an officer.

”They’re showing us information we’re going to need to know in the future,” said 15-year-old high school student Sean Rivera.

Rivera is excited to be at the camp this week. It’s his dream to serve his community as an IMPD officer.

”You don’t hear everyday that there are good police officers in your community, especially where I come from,” Rivera said. “So for the fact that I want to be an officer, I know I can make a difference in the community.”

The goals of the academy are twofold – give kids a look at what it takes to be an officer and build relationships between cops and teens.

”We want to build that trust and let them know they can always come to us,” Williams said.

Williams said they’ll also be talking to the students about conflict resolution.

”Whether they’re in the classroom or whether they’re in their neighborhood, they always have to practice better options than violence,” Williams said.

Connecting with kids is something that makes an obvious difference to Rivera.

”It’s different from having a regular day-to-day cop that just stands on the corner and does nothing, compared to other police officers that are willing to come to the kids, talk to them and let them know they can be fun,” Rivera said.

While Rivera spends time learning and looking up to officers he hopes to work with someday, he and the other students are inspiring the officers there.

”The fact that they are here and they want to be here, it makes it just worth it,” Williams said.

For those interested in joining the camp, Williams said they will not be turning anyone away. For information on how to join, you can call (317) 327-IMPD (4673) or email joinimpd@indy.gov.