2009-09-24 / Youth

High school offers dispatch and correctional programs

BY DAN PARKER dan@portasouthjetty.com

Port Aransas High School is finding new ways to provide educations for students interested in law enforcement careers.

This school year, PAHS fired up new programs that provide training for students interested in becoming police dispatchers or prison correctional officers.

If a student finishes 77 hours of correctional officer study at PAHS and passes a test at the end of that time, it would count toward the total of 200 hours that correctional officers are required to have to be hired at Texas state prisons, said Gary Mott, the criminal justice instructor at PAHS.

The correctional officer training happens this semester. Training in 911 telecommunications will be this spring.

At the end of the telecommunications training, a PAHS student could be qualified to be hired as a dispatcher but still would need more training after being hired, Mott said.

Mott became certified to teach the correctional officer and 911 telecommunications programs after summer training at Texas State University. He was able to attend the training due to a $1,500 grant he received in the spring from the Port Aransas Education Foundation.

Mott said he is one of about 50 criminal justice teachers in the state certified to teach both programs.

Port Aransas police are working with PAHS students to provide them with hands-on experience in police work.

PAPD Officer Michael Bustos recently visited the school and showed the students various features of his patrol car, including new computer equipment that helps officers do their police work more efficiently.

“The students were able to sit in the police unit, ask questions and observe the technology equipment used,” Mott said.

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