There are 54 cadets who will be graduating later this afternoon from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office annual Youth Week with a new perspective and insight on law enforcement.

Throughout the course of the week, these young men and women learn what it takes to be in law enforcement and a first responder from a physical perspective with various training drills and a 5-K challenge, but also through things practice set-ups for pursuit driving, de-escalation training, communication skills, motor vehicle stops and then in the classroom learning about law and public safety, the dangers of drugs and of the internet and much more.

"From drones to K9's to our simulator, our artificial intelligence goggles -- all of those things that we use for simulator training are all here at the STARS (facility) along with our static display of our vehicles, our command trucks, our special operations vehicles and those kind of rigs and they're getting a little taste of making motor vehicle stops with our officers out on the side of the building," Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden tells Townsquare Media News. "They get to experience it all here at Sheriff's Youth Week. We have 54 participants, over 25 towns represented in the county this year. We're really proud of these young adults who really take a week out of their summer schedule to be here and experience law and public safety."

This week each year is an opportunity for any high school student to spend time learning about law enforcement and gaining some experience for a possible future career.

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
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"If they have an interest -- they're our future in law and public safety and that's what we want to promote, we want to give them an idea of what it's like to go through the Monmouth County Police Academy, but not just the police academy itself, all of the other things that are involved with law enforcement and public safety," Golden said.

Each of the training drills, lessons, simulations that these young men and women get to experience is invaluable especially for those seeking a career in law enforcement down the road.

"We want to give them the experience to see what they want to pursue -- whether it's fire or ems or law enforcement or some other specialized area of expertise in law enforcement and public safety," Golden said. "We have to grow and we have to be inspirational to our youth particularly in this challenging time in law enforcement where recruitment numbers are down. They're our future so we really want them to get an understanding and, really, an engagement of what law and public safety is. We've had a number of our Sheriff's Youth Week graduates go on to become law enforcement officers, and we're proud of that fact, and we want to continue that legacy."

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
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Savannah Salsman from Wall Township and a student a Red Bank Catholic High School, N'Seaya Barksdale from Neptune Township and Neptune Township High School, and Michael Pietropaolo from Manalapan Township and Manalapan Township High School are among the cadets with a possible interest in pursuing a future career in law enforcement and public safety.

"I'd say I'm definitely interested in a career in law enforcement -- probably something with the State Police," Salsman tells Townsquare Media News.

Throughout the course of the week, Savannah was able to experience a number of different training drills and gain a new perspective on law enforcement.

"We learned a lot about motor vehicle stops, different forms of drills, different types of law enforcement and how to address certain situations," Salsman said.

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
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Michael Pietropaolo said that after this week, he's leaning towards a career in law enforcement down the line.

"I think it's pretty interactive and helpful of finding a career for the future in your life -- after this, I'd probably would consider going into the field of law enforcement because of this camp," Pietropaolo tells Townsquare Media News. "I'm still thinking about it because there's so many departments in it, but I definitely want to pursue a career in this."

This week, among the lessons he learned through the drills, were key communication methods.

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)
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"They mostly use verbal communication and hand signals instead of force as their first option," Pietropaolo said.

For N'Seaya Barksdale, she gained a plethora of knowledge of law enforcement and first responder public safety through the various drills.

"Some of the things we've done was from the fire academy -- learning how they use the hose and certain ways to hold the ladder and what they do during the fire academy," Barksdale tells Townsquare Media News.

2022 Monmouth County Sheriff's Youth Week

You can listen to the full conversation with Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, right here.

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