Teens in West Harris County get closer to law enforcement

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Teens learn what it's like to be a police officer.

This timing of this class couldn't be more perfect.

It's an opportunity for young people to learn more about police and for police to learn more about them. This isn't an ordinary classroom.

And these aren't ordinary teachers or students.

This is Harris County Constable Precinct 5's first ever teen police academy, made up of 20 middle and high school students and recent graduates who have an interest in learning more about law enforcement.

"There's a gap between law enforcement and the community that we protect, says Harris County Constable Precint 5 Deputy Roy Guinn. "So we thought that this would be a good way to bridge that gap."

"I've always had questions, like how everything is and what police officers do and stuff," says Katherine Ospina, a student in the academy. "I just wanted to see if it would help me, because I'm still trying to pick the path that I want to be."

Some of the academy students want to be police officers, like Angel Sutton, who says the horrifying images of the last week haven't deterred her from pursuing that calling that runs in her family.

"Three of my uncles are (in law enforcement) and I've just always wanted to be," Sutton says.

David Lichtenstein feels the same way. He knows there is that gap to bridge, and he wants to be part of the solution.

He loved the idea of getting a head start on a possible career

"My dad told me about it and I automatically said I want to do it, figure out more about everything, things I've had questions on," Lichtenstein says.

The students spend one night a week for seven weeks, getting a behind-the-scenes look what it takes to be an officer, and the critical decisions one has to make on the streets. But more than that, these lessons open the lines of communication.
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educationstudentspoliceHarris County
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