A National Partnership for Careers in Public Safety and Security: Leading the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security Cluster Is an Organization That Brings Together Partners Nationwide to Support Career Development

Article excerpt

A partnership of state, local and federal public safety agencies, secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, and professional and educational associations, the National Partnership for Careers in Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security also serves as the lead organization for the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security Career Cluster.

The mission of our organization is "to build and support career development programs and systems that ensure seamless transitions by linking and integrating secondary and postsecondary education, professional certifications, and organizational recruitment, employment, training and retention systems."

There are two main things we focus on: integrating more technology into the courses being taught and integrating career programs with academics. Another important area is connecting secondary programs with postsecondary schools through articulation or dual enrollment so that secondary students can earn college credits. Connecting the professions to their career programs is also important, and this is something that certain schools do very well.

Sacramento, Los Angeles and Chicago, for example, all have law enforcement career programs in which the local police departments assist in the training--actually having a police officer work, not as a resource officer but as a full-time adjunct faculty member.

Local and Stale Commitments

The Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet Program includes five academies that have a partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department. There is even a Junior Police Academy at Mulholland Middle School that feeds into the high school police academy programs.

The Juvenile Justice Division of the Los Angeles Police Department assigns police officers to work with individual academies, and each academy has a coordinator and teachers who work as a team along with a full-time police officer to integrate the study of law enforcement with core subjects. The Police Academy Magnet Schools include rigorous physical training but emphasize scholarship, education, discipline and leadership.

If you look at many of the secondary law and public safety programs around the country, you will find that students are graduating with valuable professional certifications in areas such as emergency dispatch. A program in Albany, New York, for example, is providing a certification program through the International Foundation For Protection Officers, and we are working to extend it nationally.

At the Philip Randolph Academies of Technology in Duval County, Florida, students can earn a certification that can result in immediate employment if they are 18 years old. Earning the certification demonstrates that the students have passed the requirements to become an unarmed security guard. They can receive a Class D license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, which has inspected the school and approved it as a training facility.

The Law and Justice Program is part of Centennial High School, a comprehensive high school in Roswell, Georgia, with about 150 students. The major concentrations are law enforcement, corrections, forensics and the judiciary. The program offers three years of courses and an apprenticeship program. The curriculum structure is a combination of hands-on training and academic studies. Extra emphasis is placed on reading, writing and technology proficiency. Field trips include visits to a state correctional facility, county and federal courts, the medical examiner's office, local police departments and the state crime lab. The program also offers the Explorers Program and SkillsUSA competition. Seniors are invited to travel to Washington, D.C., to view the federal system in more depth. Student activities are directed at producing citizens who exemplify integrity, service and valor.

Certifications for Students and Instructors

The National Partnership offers instructor certification workshops in partnership with the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. …