Pleasanton students experience the behind-the-scenes of being a police officer in Police Department’s Teen Academy


Edwin He

The Teen Academy will be located at the Pleasanton Police Department, next to the Plesanton library.

Through a three-week program from July 11 to July 27, the Pleasanton Police department is offering students the chance to explore what it means to be a police officer in its annual Teen Academy free of charge. 

The program is a hands-on experience that incorporates presentations with demonstrations to help students learn best. Each day has new activities and students get a behind the scenes look of the police department. 

“They’ll get to see the devices or things and tools that [police units] specifically use, and even learn a little bit about the software that’s used by investigations,” said Officer Richard Trovao.  

For the most part, Teen Academy takes place at the Pleasanton police station’s briefing room, located right next to the Pleasanton library. Each week, the program lasts from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. 

“You’ll still get your four day weekend, Friday through Monday. It’s only three hours a day. It’s not early in the morning, so you don’t have to wake up super early,” said Trovao.

The only requirement is that students have to be from 14-18 of age. No previous knowledge is necessary. To sign up, high schoolers just have to fill out a form on their website and submit it at the police station. 

“If anybody who’s still interested, [they] have until June 1 to apply. Only thing I would say is to be prepared to commit the time because if you do miss a date, you do miss a lot,” said Trovao. 

Field trips are also a part of this program. High schoolers get to visit the Santa Rita jail in Dublin and go to the Pleasanton police department’s gun range for the SWAT presentation. 

“I enjoyed the tour of the Santa Rita jail. A tour of a jail is not something many people have the opportunity of doing. You get to see the inmates and look at the prison facilities,” said Matthew Nader (‘23) 

Students don’t have to be interested in becoming police officers to apply. This program can help teenagers recognize what role the police department plays in their community, learning about various units like the Animal Control Unit or the SWAT team.  

“A lot of times teens think that all we do in Pleasanton is give tickets and stop cars. [Teen Academy] will enable those students to get a better understanding of what the police department does as a whole,” said Trovao