Chief Ryan Columbus and Superintendent Brenda Theriault-Regan are pleased to share that the Tewksbury Police Department and Tewksbury Public Schools are collaborating to offer students an introduction to the field of criminal justice through an elective class at Tewksbury Memorial High School.
Pathways to Criminal Justice was established at Tewksbury Memorial High School in the 2021-2022 school year, and is being offered as a full-semester elective this year. The course is offered to Tewksbury Memorial High School students who have an interest in criminal justice, want to learn more about criminal justice, and/or may be interested in a career in criminal justice.
Throughout the class, students participate in an accredited online Introduction to Criminal Justice course which is coupled with in-person lessons and presentations. Students learn about the operations of the Tewksbury Police Department as well as the different roles and assignments in the department, receiving instruction from Criminal Bureau Detectives, the K-9 Unit, the Traffic Unit, the Drone Unit, the Narcotics Unit and the Patrol Division. Thanks to interagency partnerships, in-person classes have been led by representatives of the FBI, DEA, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, and various NEMLEC units.
Many students who have taken the course have secured internships and senior project placements.
The collaboration is also aimed at building a partnership between Tewksbury Police and Tewksbury Public Schools that will benefit both students and police. The Tewksbury Police Department prioritizes maintaining and building partnerships between police and the community.
“This course creates a great opportunity for interested students to get a start on a pathway to a career in law enforcement, while also helping those of us at Tewksbury Police share what we do with members of our community,” said Chief Columbus. “We are grateful to Tewksbury Public Schools for their collaboration on this effort.”
Superintendent Theriault-Regan said administrators are hoping to expand applied learning opportunities like this to younger age groups as well. Tewksbury Public Schools are also seeking to partner with community leaders to form community and college partnerships, with a goal of dual enrollment courses that can earn students early college credits.