Sgt. John Dodd II from Cabot, Arkansas, says that he might have been a teacher if it was not for the family tradition. His father and grandfather were policemen, and John are also proud to serve in blue. Lately, man’s drive to work with youngsters led him to Cabot PD Junior Police Academy.
He hopes to pass the qualities he values the most — dedication, integrity and bravery — to secondary school kids.
The idea to create the academy was inspired by conversations with troubled kids — Dodd is a school resource officer.
Cabot PD Junior Police was launched in summer 2017 with two week-long camps, and both quickly reached capacity.
Cadets and officers participated in different activities — they were sworn in by a judge, took a tour of the police station and jail, learned officers’ duties.
John also recruited more volunteers, including teachers and off-duty officers, to arrange special events for children with special needs. Dodd’s own 11-year-old daughter has autism and the officer knows by experience that these kids cannot be left behind the stern:
“They also deserve to have that same experience,” he told Police One.
Officer Dodd has been a cop for little over 10 years. He started in patrol, but wanted to reach out to younger people in community. In August 2013, he became a school resource officer and fell in love with the position.
John admits that his supervisors would just called him a big kid but that what makes him so drawn to his job. “Kids can be shaped and molded into being good people, even if they have made mistakes,” he says.
John Dodd has seen a change in every kid who attended his academy — the officer often attends those schools where his students are enrolled:
“They always come up and talk to their friends about what they did.”
The officer says that ultimately children are looking for guidance, the thing that needs to be found in families or schools, or else they’ll find it somewhere else and in the wrong people. The sergeant tries to build those youngsters up to where they can look for the good things in life. And have fun, of course.
“Seeing them smiling and happy, at least for a day, was what really made it worth it.”
Featured Image: John Dodd/Cabot Junior Police Academy/Facebook