MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — Elementary students in Berkeley County are learning the basics of law enforcement all week long through the Martinsburg Police Department’s Junior Police Academy.
The Martinsburg Police Department held their K-9 demonstration on Thursday to show fifth through seventh graders the day to day life of a K-9 handler.
Three-year-old Atlas, a mixed German Shepherd with his handler Patrolman Ryan Fritz’s, showed the class of 22 Orchard View Intermediate School students how he does his job at the Martinsburg Police Department, with his police dog.
“It’s been really fun,” said fifth grader Morgen Butler.
For Butler, it’s her first time enrolled in the Martinsburg Police Department’s Junior Police Academy. Students learned about drug prevention, bullying including how a traffic stop works.
“We want them to take something from this,” said Corporal Jared Luciano of the Martinsburg Police Department. “It’s not to make them police officers. We just want to make them more well-rounded people.”
Not to mention, the three core values the police department wants to hit home for these students is honesty, integrity and respect.
“We have a special bond between each other, like all handlers and their dogs,” said Patrolman Fritz. He’s had Atlas for a little over a year now after his first K-9 passed away at an early age from cancer.
The last Martinsburg Junior Police Academy was held nearly six years ago.
“I’m sad that it’s ending, but I’m glad that I did it,” said Butler.
The Martinsburg Junior Police Academy is the first of two sessions this summer. The next session will begin the first week of August.