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Sheriffs and Schools: Supporting Career Education, Leadership Development and Safer Schools

NCJ Number
Sheriff Volume: 54 Issue: 6 Dated: November-December 2002 Pages: 34-36,37,57
Joseph N. Coffee; Larry Waller; Albert Castillo; Dan DePietro
Date Published
November 2002
5 pages
This article reviews various types of high school law enforcement programs resulting from partnerships between school officials and law enforcement agencies.
The authors explain that all over the country, law enforcement agencies are building partnerships with high schools in order to offer law enforcement curricula to students. The authors discuss four main reasons that law enforcement agencies support high school programs. First, teaching high school students the basics of law enforcement techniques may build interest in law enforcement careers. Thus, it is a long-range recruiting strategy for law enforcement agencies. Second, the student body of public high schools tends to reflect the ethnic and racial composition of the community. In order to build police forces that are representative of their communities, police departments are turning to their local high schools. The third reason is being involved in positive ways with students and to interact with parents and other relatives. The forth reason is to create a safer school environment. High school level law enforcement programs generally fall into five categories. They are either schools within schools, whole schools, pathway programs, centers, or after-school programs. The remainder of the article describes the three most common types of high school law enforcement programs: schools within schools, pathway programs, and centers. The authors illustrate each type of program by describing a particular high school in which an educational program is active. The Law Enforcement Academy at La Puente High School in Los Angeles is discussed to illustrate how schools within schools programs operate. The authors describe the Public Services Leadership Academy at Lamar County Comprehensive High School to illustrate the concept of pathways, which may vary from school to school. Finally, the Criminal Justice and Security Program of The Hewes Educational Center is described to illustrate how educational centers are set up within or near high schools to teach about law enforcement careers. In conclusion, the authors note that building comprehensive, quality programs is key to the successful future of law enforcement.