COLORADO SPRINGS — In Colorado, 73% of law enforcement agencies are reporting a shortage in full-time positions. It's not just happening in our state! According to the National Police Foundation, 86% of departments are reporting a staffing shortage.
The theories on why the shortage is happening, range from more baby boomers retiring, to officer pay, and of course the racial climate is also a factor.
There's an online school in Colorado looking to directly change that. Destinations Career Academy of Colorado is a public K12 online school, that incorporates career instruction into their curriculum. High school teacher, Beth Vasquez is dedicating her career to piquing student interest in criminal justice and law enforcement before graduation.
Beth teaches criminal justice and forensic science, and brings in field experts such as police officers, FBI agents, judges, and prosecutors, to speak to students about the reality of working in law enforcement. She even assigns projects on civil rights and human rights.
"My students have the opportunities to get out into the workforce," Vasquez explained. "We have students doing police explorers programs, ride-alongs, and they can shadow a judge for a day," she explained.
Students can also earn needed for employment related to law enforcement before graduating high school. Vasquez says each year her classroom sizes are getting bigger and bigger.
"I am excited about our future. My students are really educated about these issues and they want to see a change. They want to enter into this field and make a difference," Vasquez explained.
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