TOPEKA, Kan, (WIBW) -- Topeka Public School students can soon get a leg up on a career within law enforcement.
"It's young people that grow up in Topeka. They go to to school here in Topeka. They know the city, and so what a better way to help develop a pool of young people that want to protect and serve the community in which they grew up in," Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran said.
Cochran said the new law enforcement pathway offered at the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC) will give a glimpse at a wide spectrum of careers.
"It will concentrate on corrections, parole, probation, as well as the criminal justice system, and the court systems," he explained.
Officer Brandon Gogian will serve as the youth education officer.
"It's just giving them a really great head start into something that they plan on doing for 25 or 30 years," he said.
Officer Gogian said the program will make students better candidates for future jobs.
"The earlier they get started, the more experienced they are, the better applicants they are when they go to apply places," he added.
No matter what pathway a student chooses Principal of TCALC, Tim Murrell, said the goal is to get them thinking of their future.
"They need to know what their option are. Even if they come under law enforcement or one of our other programs and they find out they don't like it," Murrell said. "It's better that they find out now rather then you know spend a lot of money going to college or wherever they might go in a technical school and realize this is not what I want to do with my career or with my life."
The program is targeted towards USD 501 students who are juniors and seniors.
Students who complete one year of the program will receive a professional CPR/First Aid Certification.
Those who complete a second year will get a professionally recognized Certified Protection Officer Credential.