NEWPORT, Maine — Ten students at Nokomis Regional High School completed a course recently with near-perfect attendance, though they received no grades or credit and weren’t required to attend.
Their enthusiasm for learning in this case was probably the result of the material: handcuffing techniques, processing a crime scene, arresting a felon and patrolling with Newport police officers.
“We kept it hands-on,” said Newport Cpl. David Wintle, who is the school resource officer at Nokomis. “Overall I feel this course was very successful. I already have new students inquiring if this will be offered again next year.”
The course, which was offered after school, was made possible by a $1,500 grant from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, according to Newport Chief Leonard Macdaid. The department had the choice of using the money for equipment or this class and opted for the class.
“This was about building a relationship between the parents, students and the police department,” said Macdaid. In addition, Macdaid hopes the program will lead to some of the students eventually becoming Newport police officers.
“We’ve had a hard time attracting local candidates to become police officers, and we hope this will direct some of these kids into law enforcement,” he said. “I commend these students for doing this on their own time. It’s something they should be lauded for.”
Newport officers Chris McCrillis and Amanda Smith helped teach the course, which supplied each student with uniforms. Students received certificates of completion last weekend at a graduation ceremony in Hermon.
Wintle said interest in repeating the class next year is strong.
“Neither the police department nor the school paid anything for this,” said Wintle. “We’re hoping to find some funds for next year.”