Peach County High Students Take Criminal Investigation Classes

Students learn everything from their basic rights to the ins and outs of the justice system through the Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigations program.

FORT VALLEY, GA – Peach County High School has added a course to its career path program that teaches students about criminal justice and law enforcement.

In it, students learn about the lives of law enforcement officers who serve their own communities. Former Fort Valley Police Lieutenant Kevin Sparks teaches the course.

“The track is called Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigations,” Sparks said. “It is made up of three different classes: introduction to law, public security, [and] correction and security. The second level is the essentials of criminal justice and the third level course is that of criminal investigations. “

Junior Jakeb Heber and freshman Jillian Goowen are interested in careers in law enforcement.

“With everything going on in the world right now, I think it’s very good to know what your rights are and those of others,” Heber said.

“I think this is a really good opportunity to get to know the perspective of what the police are doing and what the students think the police are doing,” Goowen said.

Sparks says knowing all aspects of law enforcement is vital for them.

“It is important for them to understand not only their rights, but also the judicial process … how it goes from the first contact with the law enforcement to the judicial process,” he said.

Fort Valley Police Chief Lawrence Spurgeon and Peach Sheriff Terry Deese also call in their officers to help out with the courts.

“A lot of what we know about law enforcement comes from the TV shows. There is a sensationalistic take on what we’re really doing, and it gives them the opportunity to learn,” Spurgeon said. .

“They meet the people who are on the streets to do the job, so they will understand a lot more when they see it happening. They will know the system from the inside out,” Deese said.

Students learn about traffic stops, how to deal with evidence at crime scenes, and how to write arrest warrants and incident reports. Sheriff Deese hopes this will encourage students to pursue a career in law enforcement.

He says it would help law enforcement agencies in rural areas which often lack officers. Sparks says he has around 85 students taking the course. Many say they want to become lawyers, police officers or judges.

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