First Annual junior police academy gives students hands on look into the role of local police officers

Springfield, MO, June 16, 2014– The Springfield Police Department, in partnership with the Springfield West Side Optimist Club, will be conducting the first annual Springfield Junior Police Academy on June 21st, 2014 and July 12th, 2014 at the Springfield Regional Police and Fire Training Center.   The Junior Police Academy is a daylong academy that teaches youth aged 10 to 13 about the Police Department.   The day will feature classes on becoming a Police Officer, responding to calls for service, a tour of the Special Response Team equipment, a K-9 demonstration and processing a mock crime scene.  The day will culminate with a graduation ceremony where certificates and metals will be given to the graduates.  Between the two sessions, there will be 48 boys and girls participating in the Junior Police Academy and none of this would have been possible without help from The Springfield Police Department for & The Springfield Westside Optimist Club for sponsoring the event, Pasta Express & McDonalds for providing the food and BJ’s trophy Shop for helping us with the metals!

“We are really excited to be partnering with the Springfield Police Department on our first annual Junior Police Academy” says Josh Wignall, Vice-President of Springfield West Side Optimist Club, “This program will help give local youth exposure into what it is really like to be a police officer!  From how they respond to calls, to how they process a crime scene, it should be a great experience for them to work hand in hand with our local Police officers.  We hope this program will continue to grow for years to come".

The Springfield Westside Optimist is a Non-Profit Organization that has been helping kids in Springfield and the Ozarks since 1958. The Optimist's mission is "Bringing out the Best in Kids." Through programs and activities, they provide the support for young people to grow and develop Optimism. Optimism builds character, self- confidence and the ability to become contributing members of our communities.

“The Springfield Police Department really wants to reach out to the youth of our community and encourage them to consider a career in law enforcement” says Jon Conklin, Springfield Police Officer, “We also want them to have a lot of FUN.”

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Josh Wignall at (417)-393-0198  or email at .


Springfield, Missouri -- On Saturday, May 18, the Springifeld Westside Optimist Club presented a donation to Wish I May, a Non-Profit Organization providing 'Happy Birthdays' to underprivileged children and their parents or guardians in the Springfield area.  The $500.00 check was presented to Judy Jowett and Julie Brady at the Wish I May offices by President-Elect Lee McClean, Security/Treasurer Charlie Jerman and member Kevin Brackley.

Wish I May helps to reach the children whose families are experiencing extreme financial difficulties and find it impossible to provide even the smallest birthday celebration. Wish I May is run completely by volunteers so every gift and donation made goes directly to the children we are blessed to support.

About Springfield Westside Optimist

Springfield Westside Optimist have been helping kids in the Ozarks since 1958 and also own the Westside Optimist Baseball Fields.  With support from its members and the community the club's activities raise money to benefit local organizations and charities in the spirit of being a "Friend of Youth."

About Optimist International

Optimist International, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an association of more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to "Bringing Out the Best in Kids." Adult volunteers join Optimist Clubs to conduct positive service projects in their communities aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. With their upbeat attitude, Optimist Club members help empower young people to be the best that they can be.

Each Optimist Club determines the needs of the young people in its community and conducts programs to meet those needs. Every year, Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects and serve well over six million young people.


For more information visit the Westisde Optimist Website at or contact the organization directly:

Springfield Westside Optimist
P.O. Box 14563
Springfield, MO 65814
Phone: (417) 413-4321


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