Public safety education options explored for Berlin High School
Pinette said he first began thinking about the program when he considered career possibilities in the area. In addition to the police departments, there are three prisons and a large area patrolled by Fish and Game. Other possibilities include fire departments, border control stations and the court system.
“A significant number were, enough to warrant continued exploration,” Pinette said.
The program would provide courses students could take that would also enable them to branch out into different fields.
Karen White is the director of CTE programs at the Manchester School of Technology. They have had a public safety CTE program for about 12 years and 60 students are usually involved with the program. She said the public safety cluster can include many careers: police, fire science, homeland security, forensics, etc.
Manchester’s program there concentrates on police and fire. They have a strong relationship with these departments and students go on ride-alongs with police. New this year is a program that will enable students to get Firefighter 1 certification.
Steve Rothenberg, director of CTE programs there, said the public safety cluster can create pathways not only to jobs in the public sector, but also to the private sector, such as paralegals.
“We have a wealth of retirees that are still young, in their 50s, who are ready to come to classrooms,” he said. “They have a wide berth of experience and can give a lot to the kids.”
“The public safety cluster can look like a lot of things,” she said.
Different schools do different parts of the cluster depending on the region’s need. And it must be tied to the region’s needs because there must be a link to industry, she said
Planning has just begun in Berlin, but ultimately the resulting program could be unique in the state, she said.
He said he contacted Berlin Police Chief Peter Morency and he expressed interest right away. Morency said this would be a way to get students who may be interested in the field on the right track before they do something that would make a law enforcement career not possible for them.