Several Williams High School students were handcuffed last week, but not because of any wrongdoing. Instead, the handcuffing was an exercise in combating crime as part of the school's new Career and Technical Education course, Law and Safety.
About 12 students are taking the class this year. Jeff Brownlee, who worked with the Arizona Department of Public Safety for 26 years, teaches the class.
"I thought it was a great opportunity to be a part of the school and be a positive role model," he said. "The neat thing is opening their eyes to the world of law enforcement, which is a fun and honorable career."
The class started with Brownlee introducing students to the history of law enforcement and how to march.
The students are also learning about the laws of arrest, the rules of search and seizure and constitutional law. To Brownlee, this is information that everyone should know.
"If we have the kids understand their constitutional rights that just makes us a better society I think," Brownlee said.
By the end of the year, students will have learned about crime scene management, collision investigation, felonies and misdemeanors, the court system, the department of corrections, homeland security and first aid.
Throughout the course, Brownlee will outline the differences between city, state, county and federal law enforcement officers.
"Whether you're going to become a police officer or not I think this is like a citizen's academy, where it actually gives you an opportunity to see how law enforcement works and the different aspects of it," Brownlee said.
Junior Keiana Hamilton said she is enjoying the class.
"I like the hands on work that we do with the handcuffs and the arresting and the marching that we do," she said.
At the end of the course, students will take a state test, and they could earn certification to become security officers.
Brownlee, who is also the head football coach at the high school, said teaching is great.
"I've gotten to work with the kids on the field. Now I get to see them in the classroom. And it's a different environment really than out there in the field," he said. "And I enjoy being in the hallways in the school with the kids."
Brownlee hopes that in the future students will be able to earn college credit for taking the course. He would also like for the school to eventually offer two levels of law enforcement: a basic level and an advanced class.
"I hope the class helps to point out good from evil," he said. "I hope these kids are in here who'd like to make a difference in their life and in the communities wherever they go."