Students brave the heat to train during PA State Police Youth Week

 

SPRING GARDEN TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- State Police are putting Pennsylvania teens to the test to see if they can take the heat, and have what it takes to join the ranks.

State Police Youth Week held at York College simulates the cadet experience at the State Police Academy for kids interested in law enforcement.

FOX 43 met up with a few teens to see if they're up for the challenge.

State troopers showed kids how they train to handle different types of situations, but Tuesday's heat provided students with an extra lesson in self-discipline.

It's no ordinary summer camp for kids, but a preview of what it takes earn the ability to wear the uniform of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Seventeen-year-old student Kiersten Melder said "I've wanted to be a state trooper since I was around 12."

Sixteen-year-old student Nathan Dubs said "my grandpa, he was in Vietnam. He just tells me how, it's just all these stories, and I wanted to be that part of the family to continue down that path of law enforcement and military."

Troopers at Pennsylvania State Police Youth Week not only show off the tools of the trade, but challenge teens to determine if they have what it takes to join the ranks.

"First day was really nerve-racking when I left my parents. I wasn't sure what to do, especially when the drill sergeant was screaming at you," Dubs said.

Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Adam Reed said "the training that they experience this week is exactly the type of training that we go through at our State Police Academy."

"It's definitely been a challenge, but throughout the few days I've definitely overcome those challenges. I've gotten used to the schedule," Melder said.

It's an intense schedule for sure, but can they take the heat?

"It's very hot, like this morning, we all broke a sweat during PT. It was crazy," Dubs said.

"We just listen to the drill sergeants, and we drink a lot of water to motivate each other," Melder said.

"These are real life environments that we go through on the job every day. As a state trooper, you might be investigating a crash scene, or controlling traffic in an intersection when it's 90 degrees out, and you're in your full gear, so you do have to learn how to cope with that heat," Cpl. Reed said.

Staying hydrated isn't the only lesson to be learned at the training session.

"Self-discipline, this heat you don't complain about it. Self-discipline, not moving when you're at attention, even though sweat's dripping down your face and eyes, you've got to stay still," Dubs said.

"Self-esteem and discipline, this week, so it's a really good chance for us to make an impact on these kids," Cpl. Reed said.

Troopers said some parents might not recognize their kids by the end of a week of paramilitary training, making their beds, saying yes sir-no sir, and with an extra boost of self confidence.