The Dunwoody Police Department hosted 16 aspiring police officers from the metro Atlanta area at the state’s first Police Explorer Academy.

The weeklong academy, from June 19 to 24 at First Baptist Church Atlanta, introduced law enforcement to teens between the ages of 14 and 18.

“We decided we really needed to sponsor an academy for police explorers in our region,” said Sgt. Fidel Espinoza of the Dunwoody Police Department. “It’s very significant in the law enforcement Explorer community, particularly for Dunwoody because we’re a very new department.”

Espinoza said the Explorer Academy was set up to mimic training for law enforcement officers.

The explorers woke up at 5 a.m. each morning for exercises. They studied topics such as the history of law enforcement and crime scene investigation and got outside the classroom to learn skills like firearm training. They were also given “squad time” to bond with their peers.

“It has been very successful,” Espinoza said. “I’m confident this will happen every summer and grow in popularity.”