HCSO Deputy Curtis Clay and LHS introduce Criminal Justice Class

Deputy Curtis Clay has found his way back to Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and has been asked to teach Introduction to Criminal Justice at LaBelle High School (LHS).

“I am so excited about this opportunity to be able to provide students in Western Hendry County the same instruction students at Clewiston High School have been receiving,” said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden. “This is just the first step, but we are looking forward to working with the Hendry County School District in moving forward with a Criminal Justice Program at LaBelle High School.”

This class affords students that are interested in Criminal Justice, the opportunity to learn more about it. The Criminal Justice field doesn’t just highlight Law Enforcement and Correction but it also includes legal careers. There is an on-going demand for criminal justice professionals in all levels – in all areas of the criminal justice spectrum; this includes Probation Officers, Attorneys, Legal Assistants, Drone Pilots, 911 telecommunications operators, and Security Guards.

They don’t just learn about the principles of each area, but there is also emphasis placed on academics, and skill based training in each of the areas; and a bonus, life skills, how to be accountable, time management and setting goals and working toward them.

For students who think they may be interested in a career in Criminal Justice, the Sheriff’s Office also offers the Explorer Post that youth can become involved in; the concentration is centered more in Law Enforcement and/or Correction, but what they learn applies to other areas of Criminal Justice as well.

The Introduction to Criminal Justice Class began at the start of the second semester, and there are currently 17 students enrolled in this Pilot Program.

If the School District implements this Criminal Justice Program and the student completes all four years they will be eligible to take the Florida Telecommunications Exam, Legal Assistant Exam or the Drone Pilot Exam.

Are you asking yourself if Deputy Clay is qualified to teach this class? Well check this out…

Clay is a LHS graduate and a Hendry/Glades resident for 40 years. He is currently a Dual Certified Officer that means he currently holds active certifications in both law enforcement and corrections. After enlisting in the U.S. Navy and receiving an Honorable Discharge, he returned to Hendry County.

He brings back to this agency, 24 years experience in various areas of law enforcement. He has been assigned to Road Patrol, School Resource, Patrol Sergeant and Detective. He has also served in Supervisory roles as K-9 Sergeant, Road Patrol Sergeant, and Criminal Investigation Supervisor and is now back with us as a School Resource Officer at LHS and unit trainer.

He has obtained over 4,000 hours of Advance Law Enforcement Training. He is also a certified trainer in firearms, defensive tactics and other disciplines. In 2018, he completed training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), in Brunswick, Georgia, as an Instructor in Active Shooter Single Person Response. He is currently training SROs and School Guardians in School Safety and Active Shooter.

He has been an Adjunct Instructor for the Florida Attorney General’s Office for the past 10 years.

He currently holds a Career Technical Education Teaching Certification through the Hendry County School Board.

He is a dynamic Instructor and without asking, answers nearly all your questions. We believe your child will find this class interesting, educational – and Deputy Clay entertaining.

Captain Susan Harrelle is special to the Caloosa Belle and can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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