New Class Prepares Students For Careers In Law Enforcement

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New Class Prepares Students For Careers In Law Enforcement

Law enforcement students at the El Paso Community College indoor shoot range April 16.

Law enforcement students at the El Paso Community College indoor shoot range April 16.

Special to the Teal

Law enforcement students at the El Paso Community College indoor shoot range April 16.

Special to the Teal

Special to the Teal

Law enforcement students at the El Paso Community College indoor shoot range April 16.

Kayla Hernandez, Reporter

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Security services class at Pebble Hills High School headed to El Paso Community College April 16-19 to qualify as level three security guards. Level three security guards are commissioned security guards, meaning they are trained and licensed to carry a firearm.

This being the first time this class is offered, students were eager to select the course and become knowledgeable with a weapon. Instructors, Rodney Liston and Diana Kirk teach the class and have a combined work experience of over forty years in law enforcement.

Students who displayed maturity and responsibility in the previous years were hand selected for the enrollment in the new course.

“A lot of our students wanted to take the class, but we had to choose the ones we saw fit to handle a weapon,” Liston said. “We couldn’t have students who could potentially cause an accident for not acting accordingly.”

To become a commissioned security guard, students had to complete level 2 security training first, once completed, they had level 3 training and a firearms range qualification.

“Students who complete this class and qualify will be able to leave as level three security guards and be one step closer to working in law enforcement if they so choose,” Kirk said.

Two separate classes went to El Paso Community College. The class instructed by Liston went April 16 and 17; Kirk’s classes went the following two days.

“The first day we went to practice loading dummy rounds and learning how to aim and shoot,” security services student Miguel Ramirez explained. “The next day we did the actual shooting.”

At the range, every student shot a 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun in order to qualify. Fifty rounds were fired using the 9-millimeter and 9 buckshot shells for the shotgun. Students shot from five, ten, and fifteen yards away from their targets.

Once students were done shooting and the range was safe, their targets were brought closer to be graded. Every shot that hit center mass was worth five points and as shots strayed further outward, their worth went from five to three points to none at all. The highest possible score was a 250.

Many students with and without shooting experience received close to perfect scores. Only two students, Fabian Villalobos and Jacob Hernandez, got a perfect score of a 250.

“I go shooting a lot and the first time I got a 246,” Fabian said. “I knew I could do better and I wanted to beat the other people who got a higher score, so on the second round (of shooting) I made sure to take my time and try to always hit the center mass.”

At the end of the day, every student went home as certified level three security guards.

“The range qualification was very successful, all of our students, from both my class and Mr.Liston’s class qualified,” Kirk said.

The students can now apply for employment with a licensed Texas private security company. Taking the class saved students hundred of dollars to get their certification, and one step closer to having a law enforcement job right out of high school.