CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) -- At Cabot High School Saturday, a group of special needs kids had the opportunity to train like a police officer.
The Cabot Police Department held its first ever special needs Junior Police Academy day camp. Life as a police officer isn't easy, but these kids were ready to take on the challenge.
“The people wear the gloves and those foam things we have to hit them," said Nathanial Graff, one of the day camp attendees.
Graff said training alongside the men and women in the Cabot Police Department who protect him makes this day extra special. He's just one of more than 50 special needs kids who decided to find out what it’s like to be the man or woman behind the badge.
“It’s designed for kids who are diagnosed with a disability who may not be able to participate in a typical Junior Police Academy program. This gives them a chance to be a police officer for a day," said Sergeant John Dodd with the Cabot Police Department.
Sergeant John Dodd said that while it’s fun for the kids, it’s just as much fun for the police to train these cadets.
"They’ll get to do the handcuffing, baton training, finger printing, and the nerf guns. They get to do it all," Sgt. Dodd said.
The department, with the help of the community, started the Junior Police Academy program this year, but they wanted all kids to get the chance to be a part of it. So, they started the special needs program too.
“We have kids here with autism, Asperger’s, down syndrome, heart problems, some are in wheelchairs but they’re working hard and training to be a police officer," Sgt. Dodd said. “My daughter is in it. She’s diagnosed with autism so she’ll get to do these things too."
The Cabot Police Department said it hopes to make this an annual event.
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