Seventy-five GEAR UP students from Coalgate recently traveled to Ada to tour CLEET (the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training). The seventh and eighth grade students were greeted inside the K.O. Rayburn Training Center by Operations Manager Shannon Butler who gave a brief overview of the purpose and mission of CLEET. He explained that police academy training is more than just learning about firearms and fast driving. Training also involves learning constitutional law and Oklahoma statutes. He addressed several methods of responding to calls and traffic stops. He conducted a field sobriety test on several students.
Following the introductory session, CLEET Instructor Trisha Taylor began a tour of the facility. CLEET is a residential academy where each police academy graduate will complete approximately 15 weeks of intensive on-site training intended to give the cadet the core knowledge necessary to work as a peace officer. A cadet’s day begins at 6:30 a.m. with a flag ceremony followed by classroom training until 6 p.m. Taylor led students through the multi-purpose room and cafeteria, the defensive tactics training area, and the day room in the dormitory.
The final stop was the crime lab where Taylor discussed the hands-on training received by cadets. Cadets receive lecture and practical instruction which includes interviews and statements, crime scene behavior, interrogations, child abuse, first responder responsibilities, reports writing death investigation, blood spatters and collection of evidence. Taylor explained the process of collecting blood from a crime scene and how to examine blood spatters for evidence which is then sent to the OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation) for further evaluation. She also demonstrated the fingerprinting process and told students that fingerprints are unique and a useful identification tool. The tour concluded with a question and answer session led by Taylor.
“Touring CLEET was a great experience for our GEAR UP students,” said Education Coordinator Denise Lovell. “Many young children dream of being heroes and today, our students saw how those dreams can become reality.”
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.