Area kids are learning what it takes to be police officers at the Cedar Rapids Police Department's Youth Academy.
Kids spend two days of their summer learning all about the job while bonding with the officers.
"I thought hey I don't really know too much about cops so I thought hey I might as well try this out," says Taylor Munson.
The program is offered to kids in kindergarten through 8th grade.
During the academy they tour the station, learn about the police bicycles and squad cars, tasers, the Special Response Team (SRT) and much more.
"Fingerprints and how you get to see it, that was very fun," says Joel Escalante.
It's a hands on experience with the officers who are all ears for questions.
Officers Shannon Sampson and Glenn Kieler lead the program.
"Some kids don't have a very positive image of police officers sometimes so I think once they learn more about all the things we go through, all the things we deal with then it, maybe it just helps them understand that we are real people," says Shannon.
While there may be a relay race thrown in for fun, kids are taking the academy seriously with some of them thinking about the important job as a possibility for their future, "I didn't know much about police officers so when I first came into this academy, I think I really want to be a police officer when I grow up," says Escalante.
The academy is capped off with a graduation complete with a certificate. It's a program that has been going on for many years but this year the department had it's largest turn out yet welcoming more than 100 kids.
The numbers forced them to add another session this summer.
Registration for the academy starts at the end of each February and spots fill up quickly.