More than 70 youngsters from across the metropolitan area recently participated in a special program on disaster preparedness.

The three-day Teen Community Emergency Response Team program was held at Lafreniere Park in Metairie, and youth ages 12 to 17 from Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes received training from area experts in basic response skills such as fire safety and use of a fire extinguisher, search and rescue, first aid, CPR and disaster medical operations. There also were team-building exercises and recreational activities.

The program, which was offered free of charge, was led by four instructors: Deputy Allen Jolly III, of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office’s special services division; Timmy Gautreau Jr., of the Jefferson Parish Office of Emergency Management; Capt. Charles Borchers, of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office’s community relations division; and Eric Pickering, of the New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness.

“We hope those who participated in Teen CERT have a better understanding of emergency preparedness,” Gautreau said. “They know, in the event of an emergency, how to help, how to contribute to their community as well as their families.”

Jolly said the participants represented Young Marines programs, ROTC, Scouts and church groups.

“The CERT training helps students learn to respond to an emergency situation effectively and efficiently, and without placing themselves in unnecessary danger,” Jolly said. “No matter where you live, no matter who you are and no matter your age, we all have a role in hometown preparedness.”

Citizens Academy

The Kenner Police Department will once again sponsor its Citizens Police Academy beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Kenner Police Complex, 500 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

Those enrolling attend free classes one night a week for 13 weeks and will receive instruction from trained police officers certified in their fields, including those in the patrol division, crime prevention, criminal investigations, computer forensics, the K-9 unit, crime scene procedures, criminal and domestic violence laws, narcotics investigations, traffic enforcement, physical fitness, use of police force and self-defense, gang awareness and SWAT.

Students also will get a tour of headquarters and the jail and will take part in a ride-along with a police officer. Upon completion of the program, a graduation ceremony will be held for the students.

Graduates also have the opportunity to join the Kenner Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association, an organization in which they can help lead the community in improving safety and promoting support for the Kenner Police Department.

For information and to fill out an application, go to www. You can also call the Police Department’s community relations division at (504) 712-2294 or (504) 712-2395, or email nguggenheim

Musical this weekend

The Jefferson Performing Arts Society will present the final show of its summer youth musical theater program this weekend with the show “Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.” at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 400 Phlox Ave., in Metairie.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18 per person.

For tickets and information, call (504) 885-2000.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events on the east bank of Jefferson Parish. Contact her at (504) 430-8053 or send an email to