High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice
When disaster strikes, sometimes a 911 Telecommunicator is the one person sitting between the person who's in distress and the help and information he or she needs. The Telecommunicator needs to be quick and calm in the face of a caller's personal emergency, which could be anything from the mundane to the catastrophic. There are many crises that compel people to call local emergency centers. The men and women who receive these calls need to be well trained in the policies, procedures, and protocols of emergency response.
They need to be like the men and women who graduate from the Houston Independent School District's High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.
Through an exciting partnership with Greater Harris County 9-1-1, Houston Emergency Center, Texas Department of Public Safety, Harris County Sheriff’s Academy, Houston Police Academy, Houston ISD Police Academy, and the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch the students at the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (LECJ) have been actively engaged in the field of emergency telecommunications. From previous equipment, to the current Cassidian Communications, VESTA/MapStar, the students at LECJ have strived to become the new industry professional by heavily concentrating on quality assurance – providing the caller with the proper response and proper resources in an accurate and precise manner “This is an opportunity for students to succeed in life. The program opens a lot of doors and that’s what education should be all about.” – Valgene Holmes
Photo: Valgene Holmes, criminal justice co-op coordinator, Houston Independent School District High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice/Photo by Envision Photography
Since the 2000 school year, LE/CJ has produced approximately 500 Emergency Telecommunicators. Approximately 175 of these students have been hired by agencies in the GHC 9-1-1 network from 2000-2014. The South Houston PD hired Chris Garza, the first graduate of the program in 2000. Chris eventually became a police officer and detective with South Houston PD and was later hired by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff. Other agencies that have benefited from the LE/CJ program are:
Harris County Comm Center
Houston Emergency Center
Jersey Village PD
League City PD
Harris County Sheriff's Office
West University PD
Galena Park PD
Houston ISD PD
Currently, approximately 50 students from the LE/CJ program are currently employed at the Houston Emergency Center as Dual Call-takers, Fire/EMS Call-takers, Police Dispatchers and Trainers. Through a partnership with the Houston Emergency Center (HEC) which began in 2006, currently 14 of these employees are LE/CJ seniors enrolled in the Criminal Justice Practicum Program and work 25 hours/week as 10 digit non-emergency call takers.
Enrollees enter the Pre-Practicum program their junior year and receive Basic Telecommunication training. Upon graduation, the students enrolled in the Criminal Justice Practicum Program are TCOLE certified in VESTA/MapStar, TTY/TDD; DPS certified in NCIC/TCIC; and nationally certified in Emergency Telecommunications through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch by their instructor Valgene Holmes. The Program has been featured in the Journal of Emergency Dispatch (May/June 2008), Government Technology Website (December 2009), as well as, their Digital Communities Magazine (December (2009). To view articles check out the following link: http://www.govtech.com/templates/gov_print_article?id=99264224.
Student Benetria Jenkins
Student Sadie Rivas
Student Issiac Gonzales
Student Trayveon Gilmore
Student Rosemary Reyes
Student George Lozano
Front Row (L-R)
Sandra Benavides, HISD executive principal; Carol Mosteit, LECJ principal; Rosemary Reyes, student
Back Row (L-R)
George Lozano, student; Barbara Evans, asst. director HEC; David Cutler, HEC director; Valgene Holmes, instructor
David Cutler, HEC director; George Lozano, student; Rosemary Reyes, student; Sandra Benavides, HISD executive principal; Carol Mosteit, LECJ principal; Barbara Evans, asst. director HEC; Valgene Holmes, instructor