Midlands school district offers law enforcement class for students
Students learn how to roll fingerprints during the two part course.
Students participate in hands on activites that prepare them for the police academy.
By: Vince Dacus
Students in Lexington-Richland School District Five have the chance to take a class to help prepare them to become law enforcement officers. The class is offered at the The Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin.
Students learn hands on activities like fingerprinting, handling traffic stops, self defense tactics, DUI recognition, and crime scene investigation. They also take basic classes in criminal law and patrol procedures.
Nearly 150 students are enrolled in the course. They come from Chapin, Dutch Fork, Irmo and Spring Hill high schools to take the course.
Jeremy Addison, says the class is important for his future.
"It prepares me. It gives me background to know what I gotta do by having the teachers explain stuff to us and them having experience in the field themselves. I helps a lot," Addison said.
Marie Waldrop, a reserve officer for the Richland County sheriffs' office, teaches the class.
"We want them to grow up to not only know the procedures and the policies and the laws, but they develop a sense of compassion for the perpetrators as well," Waldrop said.
Addison says that if students are considering a career in law enforcement, than this class is for them.
"Its a great program. As far as the teachers, they actually care about it. They are not just here. You can tell that they actually care about their students and future law enforcement people," Addison said.
Two courses make up the program and students can earn up to four credits if they complete both. The first course is more lecture based with the emphasis on criminal law. The second course deals with the hands on activities that will prepare the students for the police academy.