LACONIA — The Huot Technical Center at Laconia High School hopes to expand its Law Enforcement curriculum and is seeking to hire a full-time teacher for the next school year.
According to Huot Director Dave Warrander, there are currently two blocks of Law Enforcement 1 — both of which are taught primarily to juniors with the occasional senior.
He said in the four years since former Police Chief Mike Moyer started the class, it has grown from one block to two and there is now enough student interest to add a third block — a Level 2 class.
However, because of restriction in the N.H. Public Employee Retirement System, Moyer cannot be the full-time teacher, a source of disappointment to Warrander.
"He wants to stay involved," said Warrander.
Moyer, who spoke briefly about the expansion of the program said he is excited it has become so popular. He said he will stay involved but confirmed he is not a candidate for the full-time teaching job.
"I'll still be around as a volunteer," he said, noting he would assist the new full-time teacher with his or her transition during the first year.
The project was Moyer's first since his retirement from full-time police work in 2011. He said former Huot Director Scott Davis approached him with the idea and he, Davis and police Captain Matt Canfield made the program come together.
While the program provides an age-appropriate education in the nuts and bolts of law enforcement, it also touches on the societal, economic, and legal aspects of crime, criminal behavior and crime prevention.
Warrander said the second level will be a more intense version of the evel-one classes and is designed for those who want to pursue a career in law enforcement, social services, the law, corrections or the military.
The Huot program enjoys dual enrollment with Central Maine Community College and articulation with New England College— meaning the class won't go on a person's college transcripts unless he or she attends NEC.
"Moving forward, we've been looking to add more schools to the list," Warrander said.
Since the program is only four years old, Warrander doesn't have hard evidence about career choices made by students who took it because not enough time has lapsed.
He said most police officers earn a minimum of an Associates degree before entering law enforcement and by today's standards a Bachelor's degree is preferable for most police departments' new hires.
As an anecdote, he said he knows a few students who are with fire and emergency services and some who have joined the military.
Warrander said the new teacher will be required to have a background in law enforcement and will also have to attend or must have attended teacher's certification programs that focus on curriculum development, adolescent psychology, education and other teacher skills.
He said the right candidate will be chosen by a board of advisers that consists of members of the Laconia Police Department, Fire Chief Ken Erickson, Sheriff Craig Wiggin, Belknap County Corrections Superintendent Daniel Ward and members of other sending school police departments.
"We have a nice cross-section of people who serve on our board," he said.
Warrander said he is optimistic about the growth of the law enforcement program and said the school is looking to expand it and make it more comprehensive.
The total line item request in the 2015-2016 budget for the single full-time teacher is $71,000 and includes benefits.
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