The Aventura Marketing Council (AMC), the community’s premier not-for-profit business organization, has a long and strong history of working with their local schools as evidenced by their four-time win of the Dade Partners Award and four-time induction into the Dade Partners Hall of Fame.
One of the strongest elements of the AMC’s Education Committee, chaired by Eileen Glastein of Bnai Zion Foundation, has been the Student Connection program working with at-risk students from their eight Dade Partner schools: Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Sr. High, Dr. Michael Krop Sr. High, North Miami Beach Sr. High, Highland Oaks Middle, Ojus Elementary, Aventura Waterways K-8 Center, David Lawrence, Jr. K-8 Center and Greynolds Park Elementary. Each month the Aventura Marketing Council, with the support of Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman and the Florida Marlins Community Foundation, takes almost 100 at-risk students on field trips to sites around the county that offer an insight into different careers. Miami- Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has been the active Honorary Chair of the Student Connection for the past ten years, and kicks off each school year by meeting with the students at her office.
The Student Connection recently visited the new, state-of-the-art Miami Police Training Center to provide the students with the opportunity to interact with Miami Police officers and to encourage the students to consider a law enforcement career path.
Jacqueline Crooks, International Policing Institute Liaison from the Miami Police College, coordinated the trip, watching over every detail to ensure the students would receive a well-rounded overview of the Miami Police Department.
Sgt. Curtis Van Sant opened the program by speaking about the Miami Police Academy experience and their Foundation, followed by Officer Paule Villard and Officer Amos Pierre talking about the Police Athletic League (PAL) with their motto of “Kids and Cops working together to build a better future!” and the Police Explorer Program. Neighborhood Resource Officer Leonard Kelly covered guidelines for interacting with law enforcement officials with a video, lecture, and a pamphlet, The Law and You. Ofc. Luis Gonzalez, Training Officer, responded to use of force questions and gave scenario based training information. Training Director Major Ian A. Moffett gave the closing remarks and encouraged the students to ‘have a vision’ for their future, and to work towards that vision by setting goals.
The students were seated in the amphitheatre-style auditorium that could accommodate 220 people for all types of lectures and presentations regarding law enforcement. This state-of-the-art training facility located at the Miami Police Headquarters in the heart of downtown Miami offers multifaceted programs equipped to meet the needs of criminal justice professionals and the new generation of law enforcement officers, encompassing all levels of law enforcement training.
Students were excited to learn that there is now a law enforcement magnet high school adjacent to the training center called the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High School, which places academic emphasis on law studies, homeland security and forensic sciences, the first magnet school program of its kind in the United States. The high school features classrooms, labs, a dining area, a mock courtroom and locker rooms for 500 students, in addition to administrative space for staff.
For more information on the application process, contact their main office, Miami Dade Public School Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High School, 300 NW 2 Avenue, Miami, FL 33128. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 305-371-0400.
For information on Miami Police Training Center, visit online at miamipolicetrainingcenter.org or call 305-603-6624.
For information on the Aventura Marketing Council, visit online at aventuramarketingcouncil.com or call 305-932-5334.