Youth Programs

BearTrax

BearTrax is an overnight camp and mentorship program that is designed to enhance relationships between police officers and youth and provides role models that help a child develop socially and emotionally. Mentors help kids learn to understand and communicate their feelings, to relate to their peers, and to develop positive relationships with other adults. Through the BearTrax Camp, mentors will attempt to instill children with a healthy sense of importance and self-confidence. They will be taught communication skills, conflict management and a sense of respect for others. The Camp will reinforce important social lessons, where entertaining activities will be used to focus on topics such as physical fitness, bullying, anger management, first aid, personal safety, gang awareness, peer pressure, cyber safety, team building, character building and community services. School administrators will continue to be the primary source for identifying students who would most benefit from the BearTrax Camp and who are transitioning from elementary school to middle school.

Collision Avoidance Training

The Collision Avoidance Training (C.A.T.) program is an advanced defensive driving and vehicle control program for licensed teenage drivers ages 16-20 years old. The one-day program (8.5 hours) is designed to provide young drivers with the knowledge and understanding of vehicle dynamics.

The first section of the program is devoted to two (2) hours of classroom instruction. This session gives students a better understanding of why the vehicle responds the way it does and prepares the students for the behind-the-wheel exercise on the driving course.

The second section consists of six (6.5) hours of behind-the-wheel training. This course provides practical exercises that demonstrate how the vehicle responds in a given situation and how to regain control of the vehicle. The driving skills addressed in the program are: evasive maneuvers, threshold/emergency braking, forward serpentine, cornering, backing, reverse serpentine, and skid and off-road recovery.

During the behind-the-wheel training, students operate their own vehicles. Prior to the start of the training, each vehicle is inspected by an instructor to ensure that the vehicle is in good operational condition. Then each student, accompanied by an instructor (Howard County Police Officer), begins practicing the different driving skills/maneuvers. Each student must successfully complete each driving skill/maneuver in order to receive a certificate of completion. If the student does not satisfactorily complete the course, they are given the option of coming to another session for no additional cost.

The cost of the program is $95 and registration must be done in advance.

For further information or to register, please email C.A.T. Coordinator Jessica Beram at JBeram@howardcountymd.gov. Note there is no online registration for the C.A.T. program.

2017 C.A.T. classes: March 18, April 22, May 13, June 24, July 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 23, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 16

Community Athletic Program

The Community Athletic Program, or CAP, consists of a traveling trailer filled with sports gear, games and video game equipment and staffed by school resource officers. The concept is for police to engage with at-risk youth in areas where young people congregate during the summer months. The CAP is deployed to neighborhoods where youth gather – usually unsupervised – and offers productive activities with an aim to deter crime and gang involvement. As an added benefit, the program fosters positive relationships between youth and police. Activities include basketball, baseball, flag football, floor hockey, tennis, board games, and video games.

Explorer Post 1952

Explorer Post 1952 offers young people an opportunity to learn about law enforcement and serve the community. Exploring is a worksite-based program and is designed to help youth gain insight into a career in law enforcement. Howard County Police Explorer Post 1952 offers experiential learning with fun, hands-on activities that promote growth and development. Explorers develop leadership and teamwork skills, preparing them to enter college or the workforce, while serving the community and enhancing public safety.

Minimum qualifications:

  • At least 14 years old and have completed the eighth grade or 15 - 20 years old
  • Howard County resident
  • Maintain at least a C average
  • Upstanding citizen
  • No criminal background
  • Parental permission
  • Recommendations

Duties:

  • Direct traffic and control parking at various county events
  • Fingerprint children at special events
  • Participate in crime prevention activities

Benefits:

  • Learn police procedures, tactics and skills
  • Gain insight into a future career in law enforcement
  • Earn community service hours for high school and college
  • Ride along with police officers on patrol
  • Compete against other Explorers in regional and national events

P.L.E.D.G.E. Summer Leadership Camps

P.L.E.D.G.E. (pride, leadership, education, diversity, gang resistance, evaluation) Summer Leadership Camp is a free, one-week program designed to help students entering the ninth grade develop leadership skills. Through a series of discussions and practical activities, participants learn the value of teamwork and skills that foster leadership. Lessons and activities challenge their ability to make critical decisions, focus on core beliefs and values, recognize diversity and work toward a common goal. One highlight of the camp is a field trip with Terrapin Adventures, where campers participate in confidence-building activities. Campers navigate obstacle courses, play games and complete tasks designed to challenge the group to work together. If you know of a student who would benefit from the camp, please submit his or her name for consideration to any School Resource Officer.

2017 Summer Leadership Camps:
July 10 - 14  NOW FULL
July 31 - Aug. 4 (Enrollment open March 24 - July 3.)

P.L.E.D.G.E. Summer Leadership Camp brochure
P.L.E.D.G.E. Summer Leadership Camp registration packet

Please complete the registration packet and fax it to 410-313-2611 or email application to pkeppley@howardcountymd.gov  or jmorrill@howardcountymd.gov.

OR mail completed packet to:
Howard County Police/PLEDGE 
ATTN: Sgt Jason Morrill
10741 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21045

Youth Police Academy

  The Youth Police Academy is a free, one-week, overnight academy designed to help young people explore career and leadership opportunities, life skills and character education. Participants spend the week participating in law enforcement classroom instruction, practical applications and scenarios. Recruits participate in drill and ceremony, physical training, classroom instruction and practical exercises in patrol techniques, domestic violence, crime-scene processing and the execution of traffic stops. They also utilize a firearms simulator and driving simulator, participate in team-building exercises and enjoy a movie night. The overnight accommodations include meals and uniform.

Registration is now open for the 2017 Youth Police Academy, which runs from July 16-21, 2017. The application deadline is April 28, 2017. It can be submitted by e-mail to PoliceYouth@howardcountymd.gov or mailed to:
Howard County Police Department
Youth Services Section
10741 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

Youth Police Academy Brochure
Youth Police Academy Application: Word | PDF