Youth Programs


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

Collision Avoidance Training is a defensive driving and vehicle control program for young drivers developed by the National Traffic Safety Academy. During the one-day course, adapted from law enforcement training, young drivers learn how to better handle their vehicles in various situations. Designed especially for new drivers who want more specialized experience on the road, Collision Avoidance Training teaches hands-on techniques for evasive maneuvers, emergency braking, cornering, backing, skid recovery, steering, acceleration and more. Participants must be ages 16-20, possess a valid Maryland "Class C" driver’s license (no learner's permit) and bring a vehicle to drive during the practical exercises.  The class features two hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel training. Classes are held at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center in Marriottsville. The cost for the training is $95, thanks to generous program support from the Howard County Police Foundation. Additional program support is provided by Browning Reagle Insurance Agency. For additional program details and how to register, click here. For further information, please email C.A.T. Coordinator Jessica Beram at Note there is no online registration for the C.A.T. program.

2016 C.A.T. classes: March 19, April 16, May 21, June 25, July 23, Aug. 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19, Dec. 10

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


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


  • 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. PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL FOR OUR 2016 P.L.E.D.G.E. CAMPS. PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE NEXT SPRING FOR INFORMATION ON ENROLLMENT FOR SUMMER 2017.
P.L.E.D.G.E. Summer Leadership Camp brochure

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. PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION IS NOW FULL FOR THE 2016 YOUTH POLICE ACADEMY. PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE NEXT SPRING FOR INFORMATION ON ENROLLMENT FOR SUMMER 2017.

Youth Police Academy brochure