MELROSE — Chief Michael Lyle regrets to announce that the Melrose Police Department’s Annual Junior Police Academy will be postponed indefinitely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made in accordance with Gov. Baker’s orders that advise residents to stay at home and prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, which remain in effect until May 4. The Melrose Police Department believes postponing the academy is in the best interest of public health.

Melrose Police planned to hold three sessions from July 13 through July 31.

The Junior Academy is a free, one-week program open to children ages 10-13. Participants engage in a range of physical activities designed to promote teamwork and test for speed, focus and physical abilities.

Classroom activities include learning about investigations, patrol procedures, traffic, bullying, drugs and cyber safety to educate children on the dangers they can encounter when using technology.

“After conversing with the Academy Director Sgt. Charles Byrne, we made this decision out of an abundance of caution and with our community’s best interests in mind,” said Chief Lyle. “During the academy, our officers and students participate in a multitude of activities that involve being in close contact with one another and touching the same surfaces. To protect our staff and the general public, we believe this is the best option. The academy will be rescheduled at a later date based on government and public health guidance.”

New dates for the academy are dependent on the situation surrounding COVID-19 and will be announced at a later date.

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