South San Francisco, CA May 15, 2019 Press Release
Yesterday, 24 South San Francisco youth between the ages of 10 and 12 years old, graduated from the South San Francisco Police Department’s (SSFPD) Youth Academy after eight weeks of after-school training.
The South San Francisco Police Department Youth Academy was created in 2015 when officers recognized the need for a youth-based program within the police department
“The department had a Citizens’ Academy and Spanish Citizens’ Academy for adults, but we realized there was a gap in nurturing our youth,” said Captain Ron Carlino, who spearheaded the class, along with Detective Corporal Amy Sariotti.
The Youth Academy is geared towards fifth grade students (10-12 years old) at the local elementary schools and the police department works in partnership with the South San Francisco Parks and Recreation After School Program and the REAL Afterschool program. The participants, who were from Ponderosa, Los Cerritos, Monte Verde, Martin, and St. Veronica’s Elementary Schools came to the police station once a week for eight weeks after school and got the chance to learn about all aspects of the police department, ranging from the hiring process, school liaisons, the Criminal Investigation Bureau, the K-9 department, SWAT, Records and Communications, bullying and gangs, and the role of police in our community.
“Every session we’ve had with our youth, the attendance has continued to increase,” said Detective Corporal Amy Sariotti. “This session we had a record number of participants, which is exciting to know that this continues to be a successful and instrumental program for the youth in our City.”
In 2017, Detective Corporal Sariotti realized the need for a second Youth Academy. She proposed that the department create a one-week summer camp in conjunction with the South San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department. Last year, Corporal Sariotti established the first Summer Youth Academy. It runs one week during the summer for children ages 12-14 years. A recreation leader from the South San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department is assigned to the camp with Corporal Sariotti. During the week-long camp, the participants receive a t-shirt with their name on it, much like the ones recruit officers wear in the police academy. It’s a fun-filled week with scavenger hunts, crime investigations, SWAT obstacle courses, demos by the SSFPD K-9s, as well as walks to Buri Buri Park and sports games with members of the SSFPD. The week ends with a BBQ with members of the SSFPD and a graduation ceremony. The summer 2019 program is at maximum enrollment however, if you’d like to learn more, you can contact the Community Relations Corporal desk at (650) 829-3931.