McKINNEY (Sept. 19, 2014) — Few careers are as honorable, as challenging or as indispensable as law enforcement. And, with law enforcement agencies facing the increasingly complex challenges of serving and protecting our communities, preparing the next generation of officers is as vital as ever.
McKinney ISD is making great strides toward that end through its Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security program and the campus-based Criminal Justice Clubs associated with it.
Over the summer, the Criminal Justice Clubs from McKinney Boyd High School and McKinney High School competed in the Texas Law Enforcement Explorers State Competition held at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Through regional competition held during the 2013-14 school year, three Boyd teams and one McKinney High team qualified to compete at the state event with 92 other high school Explorer groups in scenarios designed to test their expertise in essential law enforcement procedures – everything from Emergency Field First Aid to Bomb Threat Response.
Each team competed in 8 events, and the groups from MISD walked away with three medals:
McKinney Boyd High School
- Crisis Negotiation: first
- Felony Traffic Stop: second
McKinney High School
- Bomb Threat Response: third
“This was our first year to compete with the Explorers,” said Kina Vinson, McKinney High School teacher and Criminal Justice Club advisor. “If you don’t know anything about the Explorers program, let me tell you, it is no joke. These young people are really serious about the criminal justice field. Most of these teams train four or five times a week with seasoned police officers. I had a chance to go to the competition last year, and I came back to school telling my kids that we were really going to have to step things up. And, they did.”
Like their competition, the MISD teams relied heavily on a number of veteran police officers to get them into shape for the task ahead. Officers Bailey, King, Martin, McGee, Messner, Stephens, Traynham, Walterscheid and Sgt. Holmes of the McKinney Police Department generously lent their expertise alongside Vinson and Boyd advisor Andrea King as the teams ramped up their training regimen.
“Both MHS and the Boyd team practiced well into the summer both on weekdays and on the weekends. The kids were relentless!” said Vinson. And, the hard work reaped benefits, both in terms of the competition results and in the way they represented MISD. “We got nothing but complements from all the judges on how professional our kids were. They were all surprised to learn that is was our first year to compete,” said Vinson.
Participating in the Criminal Justice Club and competitions like this help students discover whether a career in criminal justice might be a good fit for them. Vinson said that for some, the program helps them realize that their career inclinations lie elsewhere, but they love the program so much they continue to participate. For others, though, the program confirms their desire to take the next step.
“Both the MHS and Boyd programs have multiple students who have gone off to college and are majoring in something related to criminal justice,” said Vinson.
And that bodes well for the future of law enforcement.
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About McKinney ISD
One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.