Metro Tech named the Oklahoma City Police Department their 2017 Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) Partner for Progress during a ceremony recognizing honorees. The OkACTE Partners for Progress award recognizes businesses and industries that have made outstanding contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technology centers in Oklahoma.
Pictured L - R: Skye McNeil, OkACTE executive director; Jimmy Reece, Metro Tech graduate and OKCPD cadet; Chief Bill Citty, OKCPD police chief; Master Sgt Kristin Ceder, OKCPD cadet liaison; Capt. Paco Balderrama, OKCPD public information officer; Master Sgt.Tomas Daugherty, OKCPD cadet liaison; Amanda English, Metro Tech Law Enforcement Services teacher; Stephanie Bills, Metro Tech associate superintendent; Dick Lowe, OkACTE president; David Martin, Metro Tech site director.
In 2015, Metro Technology Centers and the OKCPD 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 with the approval and support of OKCPD Chief Bill Citty and Metro Tech Superintendent Dr. Elaine Stith; this dynamic and unique program took shape.
While the Metro Tech Law Enforcement Services program is led by teacher Amanda English; OKCPD Master Sgt.Tomas Daugherty and Master Sgt. Kristin Ceder were added as classroom cadet liaisons to teach real-time information about life as a police officer. In addition, officers from various units within OKCPD 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 integrity and loyalty,” Daugherty said.
Successful graduates of the OKCPD/Metro Tech two-year Law Enforcement Services program are then eligible to apply for OKCPD’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 2015, there were hundreds of applications. As OKCPD 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.
OKCPD 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.”