Gaining Experience And A Better Relationship With Local Police
Two weeks ago, Tyler Carrier, a student at Hughes Jones Harrodsburg Area Tech Center, and Taylor Smith, a Burgin Independent High School student who is attending classes at the tech center through the Trailblazer Career Academy, were caught in the front seat of a police cruiser with a soldering iron and a pair of wire cutters.
The students were actually helping the police. Carrier and Smith are part of a group installing dash cams in Harrodsburg Police Department cruisers.
“This is a real life experience,” said Michael Strickland, an instructor at Harrodsburg Area Tech Center. Strickland called installing the dash cams an example of project based learning.
“Instead of working out of a book, they’re able to research it and do a project in the shop,” he said.
It will also count toward the eight hours of community service students are required to perform in order to graduate. But the project has another dimension as well, Strickland said.
“They’re able to develop a great relationship with the police,” he said.
It’s not a simple operation. The dash cam systems actually consist of two cameras, one facing the front from inside the cab and the other recording the prisoner in the backseat.
“There will be a constant video stream on that person,” said Patrolman David Patterson.
The cams will be installed in 10 cruisers. Patterson said they hope to get cams for the rest of the department’s vehicles within the next two years. Once they’re operational, Patterson said the cams will help protect the public and the police.
“It keeps officers accountable,” he said. “The biggest thing is transparency.”
Patterson was trained by the manufacturer on how to install the system. He appreciates the help the HPD are getting from the students.
“We should be done within a few weeks,” he said. “It would have taken me months.”
The officer was asked if he was nervous allowing a high school senior to dismantle and reassemble his police car.
“No,” Patterson said. “They’ve got good supervision.”
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.