Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Academy at Fivay High shows students the basics of criminal justice

HUDSON — During the course of a typical day at Fivay High School's Criminal Justice Academy, students might find themselves making mock arrests, testing their skills on the shooting range or deeply involved in a fingerprinting activity.

And along the way, their teacher hopes, they are setting the course for their futures.

"This class gives students a kid's-eye view of law enforcement careers," said teacher Martin Rickus. "This class is an eye-opener, allowing them to see the real world."

A retired New Port Richey police chief, Rickus is himself trying his hand at a new law enforcement career, one in which he grooms the next generation of police officers, attorneys, dispatchers and other personnel. His academy, in its seventh year, currently includes 140 students.

Throughout the course of the four-year program, students conduct extensive studies, administered through both books and videos, regarding laws, cases and statutes. They learn how to file police reports and take fingerprints, how to take police calls and how to conduct themselves on the job.

Then they take what they've learned and put it into action. Any given day could find students out on the obstacle course, lining up at the shooting range adjacent to the classroom or simulating handcuffing and arrests in the school wrestling room.

"Through this class, I've learned the basics of law enforcement and developed the agility to pass the tests," said academy student Justin Adams, 18. "I can fingerprint, shoot better, prepare crime scenes, separate witnesses, handcuff and do takedowns."

And as he learns these skills, Adams has one specific goal in mind.

"I want to help people," he said.

Kailee Graham, a sophomore, also expresses a strong desire to help people and serve the community.

"I want to help women and children through my job," said Graham, 15. "In this class, I learn how to conduct myself everywhere from on the radio to at the courthouse. I learn safety and how to help people get out of bad situations."

Graham also shares the goal of classmate Jaydin Jennings: to promote a positive image of women in law enforcement.

"I want to both make people safe and learn how to protect myself," said Jennings, a 16-year-old sophomore. "And for women in law enforcement, we can overcome the stereotypes and be role models."

In the eyes of Rickus, each of his students is a role model.

"I used to think I might spend my retirement fishing," he said. "But now, I'm here every day for these kids. It's all about the kids."

Academy at Fivay High shows students the basics of criminal justice 03/09/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings