This kind of thing is not typical for December, but there was a special graduation Wednesday night for 20 local high school students.
Windsor police celebrated them for completing an ethnic and cultural exchange program, that shows the teens what police officers do every day. It also aims to prep some of these students for a career in the force.
"I learned that it's not an easy job," said E.J. Lajeunesse grade 12 student Emily Kader. "There's a lot of gear you have to wear during the physical test and that was really hard."
Every police unit gives a presentation to the students including K-9, marine, morality, detectives, and fraud.
"They bring not only anecdotes and their stories, but they might bring some physical evidence of things and pictures that makes it real for the students. And their eyes get really wide," said Sgt. Wren Dosant who oversees the program. "It's something a normal high school student just doesn't get to see all the time."
The program is in its fifth year now, and about 70-80 students apply, said Dosant. Police accept about 20 students in the fall and another 20 students in the winter. Dosant said the goal is to build relationships in a diverse city.
"We have to be reflective of our community, it echoes to an honesty, a community buy-in and our diversity allows us to reach out to more people and be a more effective police service," he said.
The program used to be eight weeks long, but Dosant said it's down to four weeks because of cutbacks.
"I was late to sign up so I was blessed to get into this program," said Kader. "We got to see the firearms and learn how focused you have to be. The car manoeuvring was really cool."
Students can sign up for the program through their school's guidance counsellors.