SAN ANTONIO – Young aspiring police officers had the challenge of a lifetime during the Annual Area Chiefs of Police Junior Law Enforcement competition Saturday.
It’s a competition where high school students compete in police-like scenarios, giving them a firsthand, and hands-on look at how to handle certain situations.
“It takes someone who has passion for this type of work. Someone going out there and really taking it to heart and just discipline,” said Chief Marco Pena of the Elmendorf Police Department. “They learn to discipline themselves to go ahead and continue law enforcement if that is what they want to do.”
During the competition, 17 different teams from various high schools across the state faced a variety of situations like misdemeanor traffic stops, felony traffic stops, domestic violence cases, active shooter responses, building and crime scene searches and more.
"You feel like really immersed into every scenario that you are in,” said Israel Limon, a Del Rio High School graduate. “They force you to think outside the box."
“When you experience these later on in life you are going to probably think back to how you handled it at a competition because the scenarios that they give now are not as intense as you would actually experience them or encounter them,” said Jaidyn Barrera, a John Marshall High School student.
In the end, teams were awarded based on their skill sets in individual categories. Pena said the biggest reward was having a large number of participants.
“I think that is our future as far as law enforcement is concerned,” said Pena. “We see a trend and things are happening where they are very interested in this type of career.”