Stu­dents, men­tors join forces for field trip

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­

A field trip to the Polk County EMA build­ing was the Take Back Polk men­tor­ing pro­gram’s lat­est way of re­ward­ing the good be­hav­ior and aca­demic progress of sev­eral lo­cal mid­dle school stu­dents who man­aged to meet the goals set for them by their men­tors.

In the pro­gram, at-risk youth are taught lessons on every­thing from life to lead­er­ship, so the field trips also nat­u­rally take an ed­u­ca­tional ap­proach. A tour through the Polk County Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency’s build­ing of­fered in­sight into how the county op­er­ates, and both ca­reer in­for­ma­tion and tips for get­ting into lo­cal in­dus­tries were shared by var­i­ous of­fi­cials present.

“Be­com­ing a ba­sic EMT is a good en­try point into the med­i­cal field,” Red­mond Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter EMS Di­rec­tor Marty Robin­son said while ex­plain­ing the var­i­ous roles first re­spon­ders and med­i­cal of­fi­cials take on a day to day ba­sis.

Youth were also in­vited to walk through the am­bu­lance and see for them­selves the tools and equip­ment EMT use to save lives on the go.

The county com­mis­sion meet­ing room was packed as stu­dents flooded in to see where lo­cal or­di­nances and other reg­u­la­tions were passed, and a visit to the build­ing’s de­tec­tive divi­sion likely sparked ca­reer in­ter­est for stu­dents who were shown ev­i­dence lock­ers, in­ter­view rooms, and much more.

More tech-savvy youth may have liked the visit to the 911 op­er­at­ing cen­ter where mas­sive mon­i­tors dis­played where and when peo­ple needed help.

“I hope that some of them want to ac­tu­ally have a ca­reer do­ing some of this,” Sher­iff Johnny Moats said. “It’s re­ally hard to get peo­ple to do want to do this- es­pe­cially po­lice jobs. Hope­fully a few have the de­sire to do it.”

A close up visit to the jail was de­signed to high­light what life be­hind bars is like. Stu­dents were walked through long hall­ways of cells and given the chance to use the vis­i­ta­tion room where those sen­tenced are able to speak with loved ones only on oc­ca­sion.

“Well, with our trip to the jail, I just wanted them to see what it’s like to be locked up,” Moats said. “We took them to the vis­i­ta­tion and ex­plained about be­ing able to visit their fam­ily only one day a week for 15 to 20 min­utes only.”

Moats also of­fered ad­vice for get­ting into the po­lice in­dus­try, cit­ing hav­ing a clean record and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties as a good start­ing place for those in­ter­ested.

“The first thing is, don’t do any­thing stupid,” Moats said. “We do a lot of back­ground checks, poly­graphs, psy­cho­log­i­cals, so you gotta have a clean record. We can’t have peo­ple that have com­mit­ted felonies. Now, if you have a mis­de­meanor or some­thing mi­nor you did as a kid, we can still hire you. If they’re in­ter­ested, they have the pub­lic safety cour­ses at the high school. I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend those be­cause they kinda let them know what they’re get­ting into be­fore they’re here.”

Re­gard­less of what they grow up to do, those who at­tended the field trip are al­ready mak­ing progress in their lives by meet­ing these goals, and hope­fully the next field trip has even more at­ten­dees. Re­gard­less, Polk County will be there for the youth.

“This is part of Jen­nifer Hulsey’s men­tor pro­gram, so we’ll al­ways be a part of it,” Moats said.

/ sean Wil­liams

Take Back Polk stu­dents sat in the Polk County Com­mis­sion meet­ing room dur­ing their tour of fa­cil­i­ties on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 27.

/ sean Wil­liams

Polk County Po­lice As­sis­tant Chief Kiki Evans talks to stu­dents about what an in­ter­view is like with Polk County Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors dur­ing a tour of the fa­cil­ity on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 27, 2019.

/ sean Wil­liams

Red­mond EMS Di­rec­tor Marty Robin­son ex­plains the ins and outs of am­bu­lances to Take Back Polk men­tor­ing pro­gram stu­dents dur­ing a field trip on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 27, 2019.

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