Youth Programs

Youth Programs 2017-04-13T13:09:48+00:00

Precision Driving Course for Teens

The course is open to any teen driver that has a valid Driver’s License or Learners Permit.
The course is a 1-day program that includes classroom instruction and hands-on driving at a closed driving track. Students will be taught vehicle dynamics and safety tips as well as legal aspects of driving in the classroom. At the track, students will learn to how to make safe panic stops, safe evasive steering maneuvers and off-road recoveries. Students will practice their backing skills and parallel parking skills.

Our next class is scheduled for March 25th.

The class begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 3:00 PM at the Columbus Police Department. Cars for the course are provided by CPD.  Transportation to the track is provided.

Lunch is also provided.
Cost for the class is $25, scholarships available if needed.

Please contact Detective Chris Couch for availability of future classes.  He can be reached at 812-376-2628 or at

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Columbus Police and Fire Youth Academy

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be police officer or a firefighter?  The Columbus Police and Fire Youth Academy gives students between the ages of eight to thirteen the opportunity to spend four days in an educational setting with our public safety personnel.

During this time, the students will participate in a number of “hands on” activities including obstacle courses, physical fitness exercises, defensive tactics, fire safety and fire prevention.

Fire trucks will be on hand for the students to inspect and learn more about.  Students will have a chance to talk with members of the CPD SWAT Team, Hostage Negotiators, Swift Water Rescue, Bomb Team and much more.  In addition, police dogs will also be on hand for a demonstration.  The academy will conclude with a graduation ceremony that family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Lunch and academy t-shirts are provided to all students at no charge thanks to our generous sponsors and runs from 8:00am-4:00pm, daily.  The academy is limited to twenty five students in each class, with a minimum of 12 students for the class to run.  Preference will be given to Bartholomew County residents who have never attended the academy before.

Please contact Officer Courtney Plummer at 812-376-2524, if you have any questions. We will begin taking applications for the 2017 Academies next spring.

Youth Academy Waiver

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Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E), a 10 week educational program for elementary school students began in Los Angeles, California in 1983.  It has been taught in our Columbus Elementary Schools for over 20 years.  The lessons are taught each week by uniform police officers.  Before an officer can enter the classroom, he/she must successfully complete a two week training course where an emphasis is placed on public speaking and instructor development.  Our D.A.R.E. Officers instruct on topics such as drug and alcohol abuse as well as peer pressure, stress, and being a role model to others.  At the conclusion of each semester, a graduation ceremony is held for the students and their families.  The operational funding for our D.A.R.E. program is covered strictly by donations.  There is no charge for students to participate.  The D.A.R.E. program in Columbus and Bartholomew County has been cited a successful model for other police departments across the State of Indiana.  If you are interested in helping our officers make a difference in the lives of the youth in our community, don’t hesitate to contact any of our D.A.R.E. Officers.

DARE Golf Outing-

The 2017 DARE Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Otter Creek Golf Course on Friday August 4th. Complementary lunch, provided by Texas Roadhouse, will be served at 11:00 a.m.  The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.   Sponsorship tee signs start at $125.00.  The cost per player is $125.00.  Businesses that sponsor a team (put together a group of four players for $500.00) will receive a tee sign to be displayed on the course during the tournament at no charge.  This year’s tournament will again feature numerous prizes including two seperate free car give aways for a hole in one.  The winning team will receive free steak dinners for a year courtesy of Texas Roadhouse. All players receive complementary soda/water while they play.

To register your team early or sponsor a tee sign, please contact Lt. Matt Harris at 376-2605.  All funds raised stay in Columbus and Bartholomew County and directly support our efforts to educate students about the dangers of drugs and the importance of making good decisions.  We are a 501C3 Non-Profit Organization.

Cadet Program

The Columbus Police Department has a Cadet Program, which is designed for young people, ages 15-high school graduation.  The Cadet Program exposes young people to all aspects of law enforcement work such as patrol, criminal investigations, traffic direction and control, emergency management, and public relations.

Approximately 15 Cadets are currently active in the program.  They have been provided the necessary uniforms, equipment, and training for their duties.  They are expected to follow rules and guidelines regarding behavior, conduct, and school work/grades.

Any costs associated with the program have been paid from a fund generated by user fees.

We are currently accepting applications for Police Cadets.   Please direct any questions about the program to Officer Alyson Rech at (812) 376-2600.

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Printable Application (PDF)

Participation Waiver (if under age 18)