Criminal Justice Students Compete

The Skills Criminal Justice Competition was a great success.  

Students Brayan, Ubaldo, Jose and Tameka were actors for the Building Search and got to work with US Marshal Judges all day.  They were able to see the correct way to work the scenario, develop a great rapport with the Federal Law Enforcement Officers and eat a great catered lunch with their judges.

Suzy, Danielle and Cristian were actors for the Felony Traffic Stop outside and worked with Border Patrol, Hidalgo Constables, and Investigators with the District Attorney’s office.  They were able to first see what mistakes not to make and the correct way to work the stop.  They were also able to eat a great catered lunch with their judges.  They were also able to meet with Cameron County Park Police and two DPS Troopers.  All Judges were so impressed with the Santa Maria students because they followed instructions, stayed positive and said they did not complain.  

The SMHS Building Search team was Alex Perez, Victoria Diaz, Hugo Soto and Victor Diaz and did a great job of a strategic search.  The SMHS Felony Traffic Stop team was Naila Villarreal and Miguel Guzman and out of 52 teams, they made the final 8 and worked a final Felony Traffic Stop for 8 Law Enforcement Judges.  Results will be named at the Skills Closing Ceremony on February 25th in Harlingen.  Cristian Garza will work the CPR/AED/FA scenario at TSTC on February 24th.  

The Skills Director told each student their school would be disqualified if they were caught on their phones and this was all day.  Great restraint was initiated!

All other students were invited by the Skills Director to be actors in different scenarios.  They worked with the Law Enforcement judges all day.  The building search actors played people who were wanted and they were hidden and followed instructions of the Judges to see if the competitors would find them and arrest them properly.  Now they (most were 9th graders) know the exact way that scenario is worked in real life and can compete perfectly.  The same with the Felony Traffic Stop actors, the Judges told them what weapons to hide and how to act so the competitors had to find all weapons, conduct a legal search and safely make the arrest.  These actors are now perfect Felony Traffic Stop Officers.  These Santa Maria Students fulfilled the acting for the Director and she could not stop thanking them and telling them how much they helped because last year they did not have proper actors and judges had fill in and it was really bad. 

For the actors, this was the highest level of learning they can obtain as they took instruction from and were able to see the correct way to negotiate the scenarios from the State and Federal Law Enforcement Officers that work them each day.  It is my understanding that the Skills Director wants Santa Maria to not only compete but bring the actors for next year.  They were respectful, followed direction and they complemented "did not complain."
I am so proud as these students were respectful, patient – it was a long wait for both teams, they stood out as great role models and were very mature.  All Judges and the Skills Director and Assistant were very appreciative to and complementary of the SMHS CJ students for their assistance and hard work.

Congratulations to all these students, they did a great job, learned a lot and had a lot of fun.

Deborah Van
SMHS Criminal Justice