Last night was the first session of a central-Iowa “Criminal Justice Club” at the Ankeny campus of Des Moines Area Community College. Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stevens explains students taking DMACC’s Criminal Justice program will get some hands-on experience with what they’ll be dealing with. Quite of few of them want to go into the law-enforcement field, he says, some to work with juveniles, some in court working with adults or as juvenile officers. The club is for students only, and will include experience with working peace officers on duty. They’ll be out riding with deputies on duty at times, they’ll go through the classes those officers themselves take to get and stay certified and get as much hands-on experience as he can arrange. The sheriff’s department already offers a “Citizens’ Academy” for interested members of the community who support law-enforcement, but Stevens explains this club is for those in the DMACC program, students age 17 on up through adults who are enrolled in criminal-justice classes. They’re getting their book-learning at the community college, he says, but this will give practical, real-life experience. At last night’s introductory meeting, the club elected officers, then got demonstrations of how officers perform OWI testing and field sobriety training.
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