Ivor teen is Junior Law Cadet

Published 7:10 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IVOR—An Ivor teen that is considering a career in law enforcement recently had a week of hands-on experience at the Virginia State Police Academy in Chesterfield County.

Steven Brooks Cabell Jr., a 17-year-old Southampton High School student, was among 35 high school students from across Virginia to graduate from the 20th annual Junior Law Cadet program, which is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Police and the American Legion, Department of Virginia.

Already interested in law enforcement, Cabell decided to try the program when he heard an announcement about it at school.

Cabell and the other junior cadets were all selected and sponsored by their local American Legion chapters for the program, which took place in June.

“I thought it was fun, even though it was only one week,” Cabell said, noting that the actual police academy is a 42-week program. “We got a small taste of what it’s like.”

During the weeklong curriculum, the junior cadets experienced life similar to a trooper-in-training, including daily room inspections and instruction by state police troopers on Department operations, crime scene investigations, officer survival, undercover operations, driver improvement, scuba training, defensive tactics and firearms safety.

“It’s a valuable experience, especially for teenagers who have an interest in pursuing law enforcement as a career,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. “More importantly, the Junior Law Cadet program is one of the best ways for our Department to make contact with and build positive relationships with today’s young people.”

Cabell said that his favorite activity during the week was a demonstration of the K-9 dogs.

While some activities were more appealing than others, he said that the experience overall was positive. The junior cadets visited the Governor’s Mansion, the State Capitol building and even the Henrico County Jail.

“I liked it all,” he said.

While Cabell hopes to one day become a law enforcement officer, his immediate goal is to attend college and possibly major in criminal justice after graduating from Southampton High next June.

Cabell said his desire “to help out people in the community” is what draws him to law enforcement.