(HS)2 Senior and RPD Create Teen Ride Along Program
It all started in Ms. Ross’ English class when she invited Officer Hines from the Reynoldsburg Police Department to speak to her class about careers in criminal justice. What was supposed to be a brief presentation changed Brandon Sheline’s life.
Brandon, who was slated to join the Marine Corps after graduating from the (HS)2 Academy at Reynoldsburg High School, asked Officer Hines some questions about being a police officer, and asked to do a ride along.
“We talked for a while, Brandon was very curious about criminal justice and becoming a police officer,” said Officer Hines.
Citizens are allowed eight hours of ride along time with a Police Officer, so Brandon did four hours with the RPD and immediately scheduled his next ride along.
“The ride along changed my perception of what a police officer does,” said Brandon. "Especially with everything that is going on in the news, people need to understand police officers are the good guys. They're here to help."
Brandon became so enamored with the RPD and becoming a police officer, he and Officer Hines decided to create a program for students that are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. The program, which will be open to juniors and seniors at both RHS campuses, will offer ride alongs, and training courses in finger printing, self-defense, firearm safety as well as evidence collection.
Brandon attended the (HS)2 Health Fair with the RPD and Officer Hines already has several emails from parents whose kids are interested in the program when it goes into effect for the 2017-2018 school year. More information about the program is coming soon, but some of the requirements for the program include:
• Passing 90% of classes
• No disciplinary record at school or at home
• Juniors or seniors 18 years of age. (Students that are 17, turning 18 will need parental consent)
The goal is to give guidance to students who would like more information about a career in criminal justice. “The program will give students a first-hand look at what will be required of them in law enforcement,” said Officer Hines. “They will be expected to arrive on time, keep to a schedule and will be assigned an officer mentor to keep them on track.”
As for Brandon? After graduation, he plans to get his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbus State Community College before entering the Police Academy. Even his father has seen a remarkable difference in his son, from attitude to improved grades. Brandon’s dream is to be hired at the RPD. “To work and give back in the community I was raised in, that would be amazing,” said Brandon.