Edwardsville Police Youth Academy Recognized to City Council

Several members of the 2022 Edwardsville Police Youth Academy were recognized at Tuesday’s city council meeting, including class president-elect Jack Walsh.

The academy is a unique program for boys and girls, ages 12-16, with a fun, challenging and informative positive summer experience. It was founded on the principles of citizenship, responsibility and knowledge, according to Police Chief Michael Fillback.

“I had the opportunity to see the academy; they invited me last year to speak,” Mayor Art Risavy said. “I was really impressed with how hard they all worked and the pride on their faces, their smiles and their parents. I can tell a lot of effort goes into this academy.”

Walsh said he was grateful for the opportunity.

“It was a great experience and I really want to do it again. I think probably all of you,” he gestured to his peers, “would you like to do it again. It was just amazing. Thanks to all the officers who helped and thank you for everything.”

“The primary goal of the Youth Academy program is to bridge the gaps between law enforcement and youth while exposing them to activities that promote physical fitness, build confidence, build spirit of team and develop leadership skills,” he told the mayor and council.

The academy ran from June 6-17 and included activities such as:

  • Citizenship class
  • Community service project – food drive for the Ed/Glen Food Pantry
  • CPR – First Aid
  • Eagle Crest High Ropes Challenge Course
  • Eagle Crest Team Challenge Course
  • Land navigation skills
  • Leadership class
  • 10 mile hike on a hot day
  • Presidential fitness test
  • Problem solving
  • Swim at Raging Rivers Water Park
  • ultimate challenge
  • Physical conditioning and various classes in the classroom

Due to a power outage at St. Mary’s School this year, youth academy staff members, including retired Edwardsville Police Officer Barb Frolik, were unable to organize the usual banquet and graduation ceremony that culminates the two weeks of dedication of the boys and girls enrolled in the program.

“They all received their school leaving certificates and other honors on June 17, but we wanted to take the opportunity to bring them before the city council to recognize their hard work and make the academy class one of the best in our 24-year experience putting these courses together,” Fillback said.