One of the things I explored much later in life, that I wish I had learned much earlier was that a career in law enforcement might have suited me very well.

Yet it doesn't have to be that way for your teen. The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop F has some slots available for its Student Alliance Program beginning on Saturday, April 23.

You see, like a lot of kids in the 1980's I watched cop shows like "CHiPs" "T.J. Hooker" and even re-runs of "Barney Miller", but I never actually took the time to learn about law enforcement or what a career in law enforcement would entail, that is until I enrolled in the Lubbock Law Enforcement Citizens Academy in 2016, and participated in the Sedalia Police Department's Citizen's Academy last fall.

It's those experiences I wish I had much earlier in life because they might have created a career path for me worth exploring further. Regardless, if that would have led to a career where I was referred to as officer Creighton as opposed to Rob, the experiences have given me an appreciation for the complexities and challenges law enforcement officials face every single day. Something I think would help us all if more people got to peek behind the curtain of law enforcement.

So if your teenager is thinking of becoming a cop, or has an interest in law enforcement participating in the Student Alliance Program might be worth his or her time. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol:

 The Student Alliance Program is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain insight and understanding of the training and many duties of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It offers an opportunity to meet and interact with troopers from various divisions of the Patrol. Classroom and practical instruction will cover various topics including traffic stops, traffic crash and criminal investigations, firearms instruction, patrol vehicles and aircraft, marine enforcement and equipment, and bomb squad equipment, among others. Participants will participate in a ride-along with a trooper during the program.

The Student Alliance Program for Troop F will meet on three consecutive Saturdays starting on Saturday, April 23 at several locations in the Jefferson City area. The program will run from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT. Students or their parents who wish more information on the program can contact Corporal Kyle A. Green at (573) 751-1000 Ext. 3619 or by email at kyle.green@mshp.dps.mo.gov. Interested students can find more information and can register here.

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