Police officers swarm a car as part of demonstration

Interactive event warrants thumbs up from students

Law Enforcement Field Day is a daylong event sponsored by the Georgetown Police Department that provides informational, hands-on, and visual experiences to high school criminal justice students who want to learn more about the law enforcement career field. “Most of the students view law enforcement by what they see on TV,” says Captain McLean, who began the program in 2002. “We want them to see the positive side of law enforcement and the people behind the career.”

Inside Georgetown’s Public Safety Operations and Training Facility with college and military recruiters, speakers, and displays, students find plenty to see, hear, and touch. Bulletproof vests, duty belts, shields, tire spikes, and ticket writers are only a few of the items student can pick up or try on for a closer look, but it’s the outside demonstrations and interactive booths that draw the biggest crowds. While fun isn’t strictly enforced, it certainly seems to come with the territory!

“Georgetown Police! Search warrant! Demand entry!” Inside the tactical training facility, fully-outfitted officers act out a scene straight from an episode of Law & Order. “Show me your hands! Get on the ground!” SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team members demonstrate the shock effect of “flash bang” diversion devices to minimize reaction time so that suspects can be taken into custody without incident. The SWAT team demonstration is one of several demos students can see during the day. Another favorite activity among students is getting to watch Patrol K9s in action as they detect hidden narcotics or take down and subdue someone playing the role of suspect.

Whether students watch demonstrations, get to climb around in patrol cars, or attempt to walk a straight line while wearing impairment-inducing “beer goggles,” their feedback is a testament to the event’s positive impact. One student wrote, “I thought the Criminal Justice Field Day was pretty amazing! It was interesting learning about all the different fields there are in law enforcement,” which included forensic specialists, game wardens, and personnel on the bomb squad, bike patrol, and dive team. Another student commented, “It was an amazing experience! If I could change one thing, it’s that it would be longer.”

He adds that the “true magic” of Law Enforcement Field day happens when “students interact with the officers. We truly hope to inspire students and to have them walk away with more knowledge about law enforcement than they had before coming to our event.”

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