TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Local children are learning what it’s like to be a police officer.

The 2022 Junior Police Academy got underway at Honey Creek Middle School this week in Terre Haute. The program runs over four days and will have two more academies later this summer at Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

According to officials with the program, the academy primarily teaches children the value of teamwork.

“They are in individual squads and so that means they work together as a squad,” Academy Head Sean Trevarthan said. “Yesterday we had a tug of war competition. We also had a laser tag competition yesterday so those are skills to learn, to work together. It’s not an individual effort, it’s a team effort.”

Trevarthan says the academy also gives the children the opportunity to interact with officers.

“They also get to learn to be around police officers in a positive way. A lot of times we don’t always get seen in a positive way. We’re very lucky in this community that we do but it’s also a good way for these kids to be around police officers and learn from skills that they get to see us do all day.”

There are about 415 children registered in the academy.