The Metro Tech Law Enforcement program - led by teacher Amanda English - was honored with the Kaleidoscope award during the 50th Annual Oklahoma CareerTech Summer Conference held on Tue and Wed, August 1-2.
The OkACTE Kaleidoscope Award recognizes entities that embrace and promote diversity and demonstrate a since commitment to processes and activities that promote awareness of and opportunities for integrating multiculturalism into CareerTech programs.
The Law Enforcement program was chosen for its successful partnership with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Metro Technology Centers and the Oklahoma City Police Department saw a need in the classroom and community for an industry partnership with duals roles: building character in young people and grooming them for law enforcement careers. Once the partnership was officially formed in 2016 with the approval and support of OCPD Chief Bill Citty and Metro Tech Superintendent Dr. Elaine Stith; this dynamic and unique program took shape. The program focuses on inner-city youth with diverse cultures, backgrounds and goals.
While the Metro Tech Law Enforcement Services program is led by teacher Amanda English and technical assistant Karri Andrews, OCPD Sergeant Tomas Daugherty was added as cadet coordinator to act as liaison between the two entities and teach real-time information about life as a police officer. In addition, officers from various units within OCPD are regularly brought in as guest speakers, and students also take field trips to visit law enforcement career options such as the Oklahoma County Jail and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. Sgt Daugherty described his position as personal and professional.
“My job is to implement police standards so students are prepared for, and know what to expect when they are old enough to enter the police academy. I offer guidance on curriculum, but equally important, I stress strong character,” Daugherty said.
Successful graduates of the OCPD/Metro Tech two-year Law Enforcement Services program are then eligible to apply for OCPD’s Cadet Program, where they receive guidance, mentoring and support from police officers. Potential candidates must go through an application process that includes a background check and oral board. Only 30 cadets are accepted each year and in 2016, there were hundreds of applications. As OCPD cadets, graduates receive tuition assistance through OSU-OKC and Oklahoma City Community College. They also receive employment assistance and through this program, graduates of Metro Tech’s program work in security and law enforcement for entities such as the Oklahoma County Jail, OU Police Department and the Oklahoma State Capitol.
OCPD Chief Bill Citty is a regular presenter in the Metro Tech classroom and routinely performs inspections on the students and program. He is known for his encouragement of and support for students.
“Police work isn’t all brawn. You must have good character as well. You will learn skills in this class that will be useful for a lifetime. It’s important for us to support you, but remember that your success in this program and in life is completely up to you.”
Metro Tech also received its 16th consecutive Gold Star award for meeting a comprehensive set of criteria which establishes technology centers as exceptional in service to patrons of their communities.
Metro Tech is an Oklahoma technology school that offers free tuition to Oklahoma City Public Schools, Crooked Oak Public Schools and Millwood Public Schools students. Full-time and part-time training is offered for adult students, as well as customized Business & Industry training. For more information (405) 424-TECH.