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Michigan City Police Department

1201 E. Michigan Blvd. Michigan City, IN. 46360

By using high energy activities, positive reinforcement and confidence building programs, the Youth Leadership Academy aims to motivate the participants to become leaders among their peers.


“The Youth Leadership Academy exists to empower the next generation of leaders,” Chief of Police Mark Swistek said.


This program is available to students in Michigan City Area Schools who will be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grade. Participation in the academy is free of charge, but enrollment is limited.


Several activities are planned for the Youth Leadership Academy, including tours of the Michigan City Police Department and the La Porte County Jail. During these tours, students will see the daily operations behind the scenes in hopes that it will bring insight and a greater appreciation for law enforcement.


One of the highlights of the jail tour is a face-to-face interaction with a group of prisoners who will talk about the realities of jail life.


Throughout the week, dynamic and influential community members will speak to the participants about the importance of leadership and what it takes to become a good leader.

Members of the MCPD SWAT Team and K-9 units will provide demonstrations during the program. The SWAT Team will showcase its tactical equipment and share insights into the world of responding to threats in the community.


The K-9 demonstration is an educational awareness program that explains the dynamic role of a police K-9 and handler. The demonstration will showcase the ability of a K-9 to locate suspects, victims and narcotics.


Participants also will take part in a cardboard boat design activity, during which Captain Ed, along with the Michigan City Port Authority, will teach the academy how to build cardboard boats. These boats will be showcased in the annual Michigan City parade.


Other activities include crime scene investigations – during which participants will play the role of the investigator and attempt to solve a crime as a group – and law enforcement stations (LES).


LES is a hands-on activity with each station introducing the participants to an aspect of police work and emphasizes safety measures. The students will learn about the MCPD’s use of All Terrain Vehicles, Scuba Team protocols, motorcycle patrols and the dynamics of the squad car.


An academy favorite is the highly contested golf cart races on the custom designed course.


More information regarding the academy is available by contacting Jamie Blackwell at 219-874-3221, ext. 324.