UP CLOSE AND HANDS ON: CJ students head to the academy

How'd you spend the last day before Thanksgiving break? The students in CTE's Criminal Justice program traveled to the Regional Police Academy at Kirtland Community College for an eye-popping field trip that provided an inside look at the training involved in becoming a police officer, a chance to interact with soon-to-graduate cadets...and to try out the coolest video game they've ever seen.

The students' visit was broken into three sessions:

  • They observed as road patrol trainees honed their interview and detective skills. Through different scenarios laid out in on-campus residences, students watched as cadets fielded domestic complaints and suspicious activity, investigated crime scenes and worked to determine whether arrests were necessary.
  • They received pertinent information from college representatives about careers in law enforcement and the steps necessary to establish a career in public safety.

  • They trained in Kirtland's MILO Range Theater system, an interactive, multi-screen use of force simulator. Students were able to take part in the same training tools used by cadets. Kirtland's MILO system is one of only two in the state, and with five giant video screens offering a 300-degree experience for users. Using simulated weapons, students took aim at targets in various scenarios, including forests, city streets and warehouses.

While the MILO training session was the highlight of a day full of learning, the visit provided the CTE group the chance to grab lunch with the cadets on campus, with a true give-and-take dialogue over pizza. Students could be overheard asking a variety of questions, as well as sharing their own reasons and motivations for their interest in public safety.