CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police gave kids a glimpse inside their work today at the police and fire training academy as part of CMPD’s Youth Symposium.

Young residents got to check out Snoopy the police helicopter, an armored SWAT vehicle, a bomb squad and K-9 teams. And most importantly, they got to learn about opportunities available to explorers and cadets, and future careers in law enforcement.

“It gives them a chance to see this building, it gets them to see the units," said CMPD Youth Program Coordinator Ryan Botzenmayer. "A great opportunity and a great recruiting tool for our youth programs. And also down the road for police officers.”

Civilian units within CMPD also shared the spotlight – like animal care and control, and the crime lab.