Apex Officer X1
The Roane-Jackson Technical Center is dedicated to improving students’ academic and workplace skills while preparing them for post-secondary education and/or the workforce by providing meaningful technical training and skills for a lifetime with support from business, industry, and the community. In this day and age, homeland security and criminology are essential to the well-being of our citizens. The Law & Public Safety Program at Roane-Jackson Technical Center focuses on methods used by public safety leaders to protect a democratic society. In a recent interview with the Jackson Newspaper, “Our law enforcement program had not had an upgrade to its simulator since 2010,” explained Melissa Wilkinson, the careers and workplace instructor who wrote the $15,000 grant.
When the former sheriff of Roane County, Todd Cole, decided to leave active law enforcement to teach at Roane-Jackson Technical Center, he did not expect to be on the cutting edge for training potential police officers. But that is exactly where he found himself thanks to a West Virginia Department of Education Career and Technical Modernization Grant. The program, Apex Officer, provides virtual reality simulations to give participants the opportunity to react in real-life situations.
Although the simulator is new to the Roane-Jackson Technical Center, the results are already becoming apparent. Cole has each student in his law enforcement classes take one of two roles, the police officer or the dispatcher. “Some of my kids have done a wonderful job,” Cole said. “Actually, some of them are doing better than the professionals.” Offering the Apex Officer to city, county and state police officers is a goal of Cole, Wilkinson and Donald Sheppard, who is the technology director of the school. “This is such a great resource,” Sheppard said. “We will be doing upgrades periodically and keeping everything moving forward. We have been fortunate to have found the funding for other simulators at the center.”