By Wendy Osher
A dozen high school students on Maui spent two days shadowing Maui Police as part of a career development program offered in partnership with the University of Hawaii Maui College.
Participating students from Maui and Baldwin High Schools were introduced to police work, speed detection, traffic laws, fingerprinting and crime scene diagramming.
“The whole purpose is to spark an interest and get the kids interested in a college career,” said Lt. Wayne Ibarra, a 1998 graduate of UH Maui College’s Administration of Justice program. “It is a critical period for kids between the ages of 18 and 20, and if they are not busy then, they tend to get in trouble with the police. The career-shadowing program gives them a positive path towards achievement,” said Lt. Ibarra.
The Police workshop is part of a larger program that engages students in job opportunities and occupations they may one day want to pursue. The next career-shadowing event will be held in June in partnership with the Maui Research & Technology Park, and Maui Economic Development Board, Women in Technology Project.
The program is funded by a Carl D. Perkins grant that prepares students for college education and helps them gain the skills needed to enter the local workforce.
Several students attending the Police workshop already expressed aspirations of a career in law enforcement.
Maui High School senior Amber Carranco plans to major in Administration of Justice when she begins college classes at UHMC this Fall.
“I wanted to be a police officer since I was in second grade,” said Carranco who recalled a positive experience with police who helped her family during an incident when she was younger. “I knew then that I wanted to be an officer. Not all cops are bad, and I want to be one of the ones that make a difference,” she said.
Officers Chris Schmitt and Nick Krau led the program with guest lectures by personnel from the Special Response Team (SWAT), the Vice Division and the Criminal Investigative Division (CSI). Topics covered included the dangers of texting while driving, suicide and evidence collection.
Students interested in science, technology, engineering and math are encouraged to apply for the next career-shadowing event with the Maui Research & Technology Park. More information on the next event can be obtained by contacting Tracie Takatani at (808) 984-3209.
(Supporting information and photos courtesy, UH Maui College)