Law Enforcement Class Visit Municipal Police Academy and Communications Center
May 25, 2022 - Career opportunities in the field of Law Enforcement are endless. They range from commissioned officer to dispatcher, first responder, and of course, police officer. Senior South Tech students took a field trip to St. Louis County and Municipal Police and Fire Academy and St. Louis County Police Communications Center to get a glimpse of what it’s like to work in these institutions. Four specialized police units, St. Louis County Police Tactical Operations, K-9 Officers, Highway Safety Unit, and the Special Response Unit also visited the Law Enforcement class.
“I make an effort to have these field trips every year,” said South Tech Law Enforcement Instructor Susan Gibbons. “I believe an essential part of career and technical education is having various law enforcement professionals visit our program and connect with students. The students have the opportunity to learn about the various specialized units within police departments and what they really do. They also have the chance to ask questions and see the tools of the trade.”
During the visits, students witnessed law enforcement officers in action operating a drone, using police tactical protection vests, police shields, helmets, and less-lethal weapons like a pepper ball gun, police batons, and rubber bullets. Students toured both facilities and learned about the basic operations and functions of each building. They participated in a mock disaster drill and spoke one-on-one with retired Lt. Kevin Billon, who is a use-of-force expert and founder of the Police Combat System.
“The field trips and visits from professionals provide a realistic perspective of law enforcement, which is unlike the way these jobs are portrayed on TV and in the movies,” said Gibbons. “The law enforcement professionals who speak with the students also reinforce the fundamentals of our program such as self-discipline, integrity, and work ethic.”
During students senior year, students can obtain emergency dispatch, first aid, and CPR certifications at no cost. These certifications set students up for a variety of pathways post-high school including the St. Louis County Police Cadet program, in which they can work for the St. Louis County Police Department while attending college, then enroll in the police academy after earning their degree. For more information, email Susan Gibbons at SMGibbons@ssdmo.org.