Patriots Spark the Future of Law Enforcement

students unlocking potential for law and public service careers

Veterans offers a variety of four-year course endorsements for every scholar each year. For students interested in criminal justice, the opportunity to choose a career in law and public service endorsement is always available. Within this endorsement, there are two pathways a student can follow: law enforcement or legal studies.

Both pathways begin with the principles of law, public safety, and corrections. This class teaches students the foundations of every career this endorsement offers, from paramedics to firefighters to legal systems, court systems, corrections, and law enforcement.

“I believe it’s important to keep it interactive for the kids. I introduce them to all the bookwork and hands-on activities to make it exciting but also challenging,” stated Jimmy Gomora-Leon, an instructor of the principles of law and a police officer and detective of the Somerset Police Department.

The goal of the first level is to help every scholar build a strong foundation so that they can all advance into the higher systems without issues. If a student wishes to start the path of law enforcement, the second level will be Law enforcement I. As the student completes this class, two other options open up for level three: Law Enforcement II or Correctional Services. Level four offers two possibilities: Practicum-Law or forensic science, but it requires IPC or biology to be taken before the class.

An extracurricular activity available to all scholars is the Police Explorers. The explorers are a group of students who are introduced to a setting similar to the real-world law enforcement environment. Although the program is called police explorers, the activities range from EMT to the fire department. On the policing side, they deal with felonies and procedures inside the jail. All of the training guides them in preparing for those jobs. The group meets every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Even though not everyone has certain qualities to be in the field, the explorers will help you build them. 

“Sometimes kids come to us without these traits, and that’s okay because we train them to break out of their shell. The biggest trait we strive for is self-sufficiency, mainly because, as police officers, we will typically be alone or in tough situations without immediate backup,” Julian Estrada, the captain of the police explorers, explained.

If a student chooses the legal studies pathway, the second level will be the court system. Level three has two options: Advanced Legal Skills and Professions and Legal and Research Writing. At level four, students move to Practicum-Law and PSCS-legal studies. 

A mock trial is another extracurricular activity offered to students interested in court systems. In this program, students get the practice of being in a court setting. Different people are chosen for roles, such as Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, Court Clerk, etc. The program prepares them for a future dealing with the complexities of the legal system.

This endorsement helps them in their criminal justice careers and benefits the students in multiple ways, such as assisting them to work well under pressure and stressful conditions.

“It prepares them for any kind of hardships or life struggles that can happen in different careers,” he continued, “It also benefits them academically because they’re taught to write in the court systems. It helps them be a better documenter and writer when it comes to any career.” Gomora-Leon stated. 

As the student graduates from the four-year public service endorsement, many job opportunities open at 18. The chance to join the police academy fresh out of high school still stands. The job opportunities also vary from Dispatchers to court Clerks, Court Reporters, Paralegals, Paramedics, Firefighters, EMT basics, and Jailers. 


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