Criminal Justice Paws at Real Life Experience


Brady Blaylock

Kevin Petty works with his K-9 officer Hunter. The team showed off Hunter’s skills.

On Friday, criminal justice teacher Paige Ridge brought in an officer from the Lindale K-9 unit. This was one of the numerous guest speakers Ridge has introduced to her class.

“My law one class is designed for career observation,” Ridge said. “We talk in class about these careers, and to show them what [those] jobs are like [is my goal].”

Ridge has introduced a plethora of employees in criminal justice fields. Those include emergency services, game wardens, constables officers and military speakers.

“I like to have the guest speakers come in because you learn more about the career,” sophomore Mason Lejeune said. “You get to see them and get a feel for what they actually do.”

It’s good for students to see career avenues that they can enter.”

— Kevin Petty

Before teaching, Ridge was an adult probation officer for Smith county. She brought her real-life experience into the school, and in doing so, brought in others.

“It’s cool and educational,” senior Jeremiah Lang said. “It changed my view on [some of] the jobs, and now I know I want to be a game warden.”

The guest speakers bring in personal stories, testimonies of their job and sometimes equipment to give students hands- on experience with their profession. The most recent speaker, K-9 officer Kevin Petty brought his K-9 officer, Hunter, to the class for students to learn about.

“It’s good for students to see career avenues that they can enter,” Petty said. “When I was in high school, it was general studies, so it is nice to see specialized classes.”