PRICHARD, Ala. (WKRG) — The Prichard Police Department’s Explorer program had its summer training academy graduation ceremony Thursday, July 14.

The police explorer program is a training event that partners with the Boy Scouts of America. The program is geared toward students between the age of 14 to 21.

The ceremony highlighted what the students learned throughout the training. Prichard Police Captain Maxine Mark and retired Sergeant Elsie Boykin run the program.

Mark said the program isn’t just for students who are interested in law enforcement.

“It’s more about fundamentals and training and growth and development for these kids. Especially now in the age that we’re living so, we want to make sure that they’re able to get the training that they need to go where they need to go,” said Mark. “It helps with high school, public speaking, it helps them with life skills in general so that they’ll be productive citizens.”

Additionally, students in the program go on field trips, attend city council meetings, and learn about the laws governing police weaponry.

“It was an honor to be at a Prichard police academy and meeting new friends, people and to meet Captain Mark and all of them,” said Gaige Lee, a student in the program. “It feels great to be at a police academy.”

Captain Mark said any student can join the program at any time by reaching out to her and submitting an application.

Stay ahead of the biggest stories, breaking news and weather in Mobile, Pensacola and across the Gulf Coast and Alabama. Download the WKRG News 5 news app and be sure to turn on push alerts.