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. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.