A record number of teens are participating in the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy this summer

During the four-week program, ICSO personnel provide the students with insight into the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. Sessions include crime scene investigations, how drones are used to track suspects and gather information, a tour of the county jail and an active-shooter simulation.

Underlying all of that are life lessons, including the dangers associated with drug use. Organizers hope the program establishes a connection between the participants and law enforcement.

“The main focus of the academy is to help these students make responsible decisions,” Lt. Matt Burleyson said.

On Thursday night, students learned about dangerous drugs and observed ICSO K9 units in action  Currently, ICSO has one of the largest K9 teams in the state, with 18 dogs.

Lakeshore Middle School student Malachi Treadway enjoyed the session.

“I’ve been around dogs all my life,” he said. “My favorites are hunting dogs.”

The 2023 Teen Academy concludes August 1 with a graduation ceremony.