Youngsters brush up on the law at conference

August 17, 2012 by  

Twenty-four high school students from Orange County visited the coroner’s office, a bomb squad, and the Sheriff’s Department to learn about law enforcement.

The visits were for the 13th annual Summer Youth Education Conference for students, held August 6 – 10, that gave them hands-on experience in the law enforcement field. The 24 students were chosen from a field of 130 applicants.

The conference was initially launched by Jose Morfin, an outreach specialist with the Orange County district attorney’s office. Morfin began the program in 1999 after he discovered the younger generation enjoyed the hands-on experience as a way to learn about law enforcement.

Alvar Melendez, of Costa Mesa High School, said:

“My experience has been great, entertaining and educational. I’m still seeing if law enforcement is for me. I might want to be a part of the canine unit, but I’m still not sure.”

The week-long program led students through a case step-by-step, from the original reporting of the crime to having the case tried in court.

One of the visits was in the form of a simulation, where students had to decide which method of crime prevention, such as the use of their gun, was the best for the situation. They also learned under which conditions they should fire their weapon.

Students had to be 15 years of age or older, fill out an application, and write an essay on why they wanted to pursue a career in a relevant field. Flyer printing is often the best way to let students know about educational events such as the conference and is something the organizers may have utilized.