PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local high school class is inspiring our area’s future police officers. These young men and women have found their path and are learning the basic skills and tactics to prepare for a career in law enforcement.

“I want to help people by just being a friendly face,” said twelfth grader Enrique Collazo from Hanover Area.

From physical fitness to patrols and security, the Law Enforcement Course at the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center is helping prepare local students for a career in Law Enforcement.

“It’s what I’ve been thinking about since I grew up so being one step closer just proves I can’t do it,” explained Lindey Gustas, a Junior at Crestwood High School.

Ninth through twelfth graders from all over NEPA are learning how to one day make a difference.

“I like the workout part and I like the patrolled part it makes me feel like I have a part in the school,” Bailey Durofchalk, a Junior at Crestwood High School said.

“That’s the whole point of wanting to join law enforcement, as so the little girl that’s scared to say what happened could come and talk and be ok,” explained Hannah Moyer, a Junior at Pittston Area High School.

Through basic self-defense tactics, driving simulators, and handgun tactics, these students are ready to serve and protect their communities.

“Having someone that can speak Spanish is really good,” stated the eleventh grader of Riverside High School Yabdil Velazquez.

Velazquez has learned his ability to speak Spanish is a huge asset.

“Sometimes we have to tours and stuff where they don’t speak English I have to do the whole tour in Spanish,” Velazquez added.

Most students are the first in their families to spark an interest in law enforcement.

Others are following in a family member’s footsteps at a time when police departments across the country struggle to recruit new officers.

“My dad‘s a state trooper in the forensics unit so I just kind of grew up with it, I mean always it just kind of clicked with me,” said Gustas.

But each student shares a similar end goal as they look to their futures.

“My end goal is to be a state trooper for the Pennsylvania state police and I feel like this will be a steppingstone in the career,” stated Old Forge Senior student Jacob Abplanalp

As they aspire to become an officer, go into the military, or beyond.

“I just want to help my country in the way I feel like I can and I want to help my community because I feel like this is what gives me the most meaning to my life,” Pittston Area High School Junior Noah Calloway explained.

Together they are growing as a class and family, learning to break out of their comfort zones, and getting one step closure to their dream career in law enforcement.

Here’s to you kids!

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