Mukilteo Youth Police Academy students (from left) Makena Porter, Abygahle Stumpf, Alex Baltrukovicz and Colleen Alvarez use a UV light to look for hair samples in a piece of carpet during a class on forensics at Kamiak High School on Thursday. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Mukilteo Youth Police Academy students (from left) Makena Porter, Abygahle Stumpf, Alex Baltrukovicz and Colleen Alvarez use a UV light to look for hair samples in a piece of carpet during a class on forensics at Kamiak High School on Thursday. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Kamiak students spend week at police department’s youth academy

MUKILTEO — A Kamiak High School senior hopes to land a job with the FBI one day.

She wants to be a criminal profiler.

Abygahle Stumpf, 17, spent last week at the Mukilteo Police Department’s inaugural youth academy. More than a dozen young people photographed evidence, looked for traces of DNA and studied criminal law.

They also learned about healthy dating relationships and traffic safety.

“Who talks to them about that?” Mukilteo police officer Myron Travis said.

Many teens learn about issues such as domestic violence by talking with one another. Some don’t recognize the warnings, Travis said. It might be their first relationship.

Domestic violence advocates spoke one afternoon during the week-long academy. They described a scenario several teens were familiar with.

It starts with a boyfriend or girlfriend checking a significant other’s cellphone. The snooping leads to restrictions on who they can speak with. That could be a precursor to a potentially abusive relationship, Travis said.

“I’ve seen people get into bad situations that they don’t know how to get out of,” Stumpf said.

Travis hopes the teens will share what they’ve learned.

Many of Stumpf’s friends are new drivers. She hopes to speak with them about good driving habits, especially with the new distracted driving law that goes into effect Sunday.

The law prohibits people from using hand-held phones or electronic devices while driving, as well as watching videos.

Travis stressed the importance of maintaining a good driving record, citing the example of applying for a job. It shows responsibility, he said.

On Wednesday, the class visited a fire station in Mukilteo. They extinguished fires and practiced CPR.

Detectives set up a mock crime scene in a hallway at Kamiak High School on Thursday. The teens took swabs of fake blood. They placed markers next to evidence — baggies of “drugs,” a soda can, a hat and gloves — and tried to make sense of it.

Stumpf said the academy was a great first step for her career. She plans to study criminology and psychology in college. In the meantime, the academy gave her a chance to work alongside detectives and officers. She saw what a job in law enforcement looks like.

“I wish it was longer than a week,” Stumpf said.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192;

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