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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Aug 04, 2022

Area Students Complete 29th Annual Sheriff Youth Week

By Lori Draz

Santino Rudko, of Colts Neck

As they do each summer, a group of Monmouth County high school students interested in law enforcement and public safety careers come together to spend a week at one of the most educational and exciting summer programs: the annual Sheriff Youth Week, which was held July 11 to 15. 

Ryan Miller, of Middletown

James Morello, of Middletown

Jett Londell, of Holmdel

Sheriff Shaun Golden told the recruits to bring energy, enthusiasm and excitement as they took part in this extraordinary summer camp which allows cadets to explore a broad variety of law enforcement careers paths through police academy-style training, exercise activities and instructional sessions.

New this year was a day spent at the Monmouth County Fire Academy where the students went through the same training as all firefighters and volunteers do. They learned about putting out real fires, rescues in dark, smoke-filled buildings, the teamwork of carrying and climbing ladders, and how to use a fire hose. 

Sofia Havard, of Red Bank

Jake Dembowski, of Middletown

Recruits spent another great day at the Situational Training And Response Simulator facility where they used the VirTra Simulator, the state-of-the-art decision-making and tactical firearms virtual threat simulator, which shows real-life types of scenarios. In addition, the students also participated in K9 work, Project Lifesaver, vehicle simulator, drone, dive team, and motor vehicle stop demonstrations, along with a display of special operations and equipment. The week also included presentations on drugs; bullying, cyberbullying and the aftereffects; and bicycle patrol with an interactive police bicycle course and an entire regimen of health and fitness including a 5K run.

From left: Ted Freeman, undersheriff Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office; Cynthia Scott, public information officer; Fred Migliaccio, Monmouth County fire marshal; and Iliana Santos, sheriff’s officer

Each day began with drill and ended with exercise. The week ended with a graduation exercise where the 51 participants received certificates. 

“We are so proud of the entire Sheriff Youth Week class for staying the course and commend all for completing this intensive week of law enforcement training,” Golden said. “Our youth get to explore the possibilities of a career in public safety. As a result, many will become future leaders in law enforcement.” 

During the graduation, Golden and Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone specially recognized the late Hon. Deputy Sheriff William Wingard and his wife, Marie, of New Jersey Gravel & Sand in Wall Township. The Wingard family has sponsored Sheriff Youth Week since 1992. They were acknowledged at the graduation ceremony for their dedication and commitment throughout the years. A special thanks was also given to Executive Undersheriff Ted Freeman and his exceptional Sheriff Youth Week staff for consistently going above and beyond in making Sheriff Youth Week the best youth academy program in the state.