ATU Hosts Academy for Students With Desire to Serve

Summer Academy 2022 River Valley Public Service Cadets
Photographed: (front row, left-to-right) Hayden Freeman, Emily Middleton, Tristin Pugh, Cydnie Grenier, Marley Alford, Landen Bradley; (back row, left-to-right): Tanner Newman, Jonathan Acre, Nathaniel Deeds, Caiden Harper, Trey Curtis and Klein Ball. Not photographed: Chavi Koch-Case.

A group of 14-to-20 year olds with an interest in service spent the week of June 27-July 1 on the Arkansas Tech University campus in Russellville as participants in the 2022 River Valley Public Safety Cadets Summer Academy.

The academy provides cadets with an opportunity to interact with entities such as Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Tech University Department of Public Safety, Army National Guard, Pope County Sheriff’s Department and Russellville Police Department.

“We provide them with a day in the life of what it’s like to be a police officer,” said Andrew Reeves, public information officer for the Russellville Police Department. “My hope is for them to have a better understanding of what we do. It’s not all about what they see on television. There’s a little bit of paperwork and a little bit of thinking done. It’s more than running in with your guns out and chasing cars real fast.”

Through a combination of physical conditioning, classroom learning and educational experiences, the cadets can qualify for graduation from the academy.

Communities represented with students in the 2022 River Valley Public Safety Cadets Summer Academy include Dardanelle, Dover, Havana and Russellville.

“This is a good group we’ve had this week,” said Reeves. “Teamwork is a big skill we work on. We gave them a murder case to solve, and we split them up on purpose. Some were detectives. Some were patrol. They had to learn how to work together to get the job done. We’re teaching them skills they are going to use later in life, even if they don’t go into public service. They’re learning how to be accountable, have integrity and be genuinely reasonable people within society.”

Learn more about the River Valley Public Safety Cadets at