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ST. PETERS, Mo. – Our Proud to Serve recipient in April is a St. Peter’s police officer.

Officer Melissa Doss launched the Junior Citizens Police Academy three summers ago, inviting kids ages 8-12 to go through a summer course to learn what it is that police officers do, including crime scene investigations, pullovers, patrolling, and community policing.

Although many police departments have a Citizens Academy for Adults, Melissa adapted the program to teach kids instead!

The St. Peters program has been so successful that many other districts in the St. Charles region also do the same thing. The kids who complete the course get a BBQ at the end where they get to see the SWAT vehicles and police cruisers. The kids get inside and try all the bells and whistles.

Throughout the program, the kids earn raffle tickets and at the BBQ various prizes are handed out from local businesses (gift cards, Kindles, etc). All participants get a certificate of completion. Melissa asks for volunteers from the Citizen Academy for adults and many have returned over the years, they have so much fun.

Melissa was nominated by a parent whose children completed the academy.

It is department policy that officers cannot accept gifts, so Melissa asked if the $500 award from Brown & Brown Law could go back into the program to support the St. Peters Junior Citizens Police Academy instead.

If you would like to nominate a first responder, military, or veteran for our Proud to Serve award, click here.