Relationships between communities and police officers have been on a rocky road in the U.S. in recent years. One retired Youngstown officer wants to change that.

“It is very important to have police-community relationships and I can’t think of a better way than to start with our youth,” said Commander Delphine Baldwin-Casey.

The first Campbell Youth Police Academy kicked off this week and Baldwin-Casey has a lot of expectations for her first-year students.

“I want them to understand consequences and be responsible for their actions, and that they can make choices about their life,” she said.

There are separate age groups for 8-10, 11-13 and 14-16. Each group comes one day a week.

“That one day that they come is so valuable,” Baldwin-Casey said.

The academy gives them knowledge they might not get anywhere else.

“She teaches us about crimes so that when we get older, we know more about it and we know how to follow the laws,” said student Eric Jackson.

Not only will they learn about laws such as stealing, bullying and sexual harassment, but Baldwin-Casey has some field trips up her sleeve, too.

“To the juvenile center. I want them to visit that facility because the point is we want to show you where we don’t want you to go,” she said.

One of the biggest skills she wants them to learn is how to make good choices.

“Some kids will come up to me and say, ‘Well, Sergeant Casey, my mother does drugs’ or ‘My father stole’ and then the point is, ‘But do you know right from wrong?’ and ‘Do you realize you have a choice?'”

The students will graduate from the academy in the next six weeks.

It’s not too late to sign your child up for the academy. This is the last week they’ll be taking applications, which can be picked up at the Campbell Police Department.