Students in the Delaware Area Career Center’s law enforcement training program have been getting hands-on training since a volunteer from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has been coming once a week to train with them.
Eric Jaynes, a corrections officer at the Delaware County Jail, said he has spent his Wednesday mornings with the juniors in the law enforcement program, working out with them and running them through real-life situations.
Jaynes said he helps out partly because he wants to give back and partly to help them learn techniques and practices early that will be helpful if they go on to the police academy after graduation.
“One of my main motivations is future coworkers,” Jaynes said. “If we are going to have these people work for us one day, we should get in here now and show them what it’s actually like.”
Jaynes said he is usually joined by Sgt. Dominic Bloomfield, a U.S. Army recruiter who helps the students exercise and practice scenarios.
For example, on May 4, Jaynes was walking students through a domestic disturbance situation involving two police officers and two belligerent suspects. Jaynes said that during the exercise the, “officers” would have to place the suspects in custody, which sometimes means physically wrestling a fellow student to the ground.
“When we started off, no one knew each other and had never done anything like this,” Jaynes said. “Now they have gone from a scared group to a confident team. We’ve showed them a disciplined atmosphere and they have thrived in it.”
Jaynes said Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin has stopped by the program a few times to answer students’ questions and has praised the program.
“I love workout Wednesdays,” said Zach DePascale, a junior at Worthington Kilbourne High School. “It’s my favorite part of the program. We get hands on and learn what it’s really like. We are learning everything we’d need in these situations.”
DePascale said he has several family members who are involved in law enforcement and hopes to follow in their footsteps after he graduates.
“It’s not like any other program,” DePascale said. “Officer Jaynes gives us the civilian side of training and Sgt. Bloomfield gives us some of the military side. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have teaching us.”
Jaynes said he hopes to continue volunteering for the foreseeable future and said working with the students was “one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.