Program Spotlight

November 2021

School Name: Prince George’s County Public Schools

State: Maryland

What type of school are the programs in? Comprehensive high schools

Pathway(s) Offered: Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP) in two pathways 1) Homeland Security Sciences (HSS) & 2) Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement (CJLE)


Briefly describe your student demographics: PGCPS is located on the east side of our nation’s capital – Washington DC. The county as a whole is quite diverse by home language, ancestry and socio-economics. 

Program Teachers: 13 teachers across seven high schools

High School HSEP Teacher HSEP Pathway
Bowie High School Mr. Frantz Deetjen CJLE
Bowie High School Mr. Michael Wallace CJLE
Bowie High School Mr. David Dube CJLE
Central High School Mr. David Person CJLE
Central High School Aleanu Nkemka CJLE
High Point High School Dr. Ishmael Mitchell HSS
High Point High School Dr. Vanessa Tongue HSS
Laurel High School Mr. Anthony Goode CJLE
Laurel High School

Mr. Irwin Poelinitz

(Long Term Sub)

Parkdale High School Mr. Rodney Boulware HSS
Potomac High School Mr. Trevor Cooper HSS
Potomac High School Ms. Nissa Copemann HSS/CJLE
Suitland High School Mr. Daniel Faison HSS

What is the most interesting thing about your program? HSEP Teachers in CTE bring a range of educational and professional experiences related to the subject matter and topics they are teaching. HSEP educators are drawn from a variety of areas within the education and industry professions, including homeland security, law, social studies, technology, among others. In addition to possessing extensive professional experience, HSEP educators and instructional staff possess numerous professional certifications and training certificates as well as earned master’s degrees, law degrees, and doctorates. A HSEP teacher schedule by courses taught will be shared in early September to facilitate and foster teacher coordination, collaboration and expertise.

HSEP Programs are presently offered at seven PGCPS High Schools: Bowie, Central, High Point, Laurel, Parkdale, Potomac and Suitland. High Point, Parkdale, Potomac and Suitland offer the Homeland Security Sciences Pathway; and Bowie, Central, Laurel, and Potomac offer the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Pathway. Each high school has a distinct character based on its school mission, schoolwide initiatives, pathway(s) offered, and industry partnerships, among other factors. HSEP teachers also bring their professional experiences and special talents to enrich each HSEP program and career pathway.

HSEP certification priorities in SY22 include public safety and emergency management certification courses through the American Red Cross (ARC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as a new certification support initiative that will be piloted to prepare students to complete cybersecurity certifications through CompTia. By earning industry-recognized certifications through the American Red Cross, FEMA and CompTia across a range of subject areas that are applicable to many career domains, HSEP students develop foundational awareness of key information relative to homeland security and emergency preparedness, as well as specializations within the Homeland Security Sciences and Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Pathways. Certifications are aligned with the curriculum.

Who can other programs reach out to, to learn more about your program or expertise? Michael G. Caruso, Ph.D.

Do you mind sharing an email for that person? 

September 2021

School Name: Ottawa High School

City and State: Ottawa, Kansas

What type of school is the program in? Comprehensive high school

Pathway(s) Offered: Law Enforcement, Fire Service



Briefly describe your student demographics: Ottawa High School is located approximately one hour from the Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri metropolitan area in a semi-rural setting. Our student population has approximately 752 students on campus with approximately 15% minority polluation.

Program Teacher: Candie Campbell. I hold a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Teaching (Political Science and American History) from Emporia State University and have graduate hours towards a Master in Criminal Justice from Washburn University. I have a multitude of hours (workshops/seminars)in a variety of criminal justice topics.

Program Teacher:Officer Paula Alacron. Officer Alacron holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Fort Hays University. She has been with the Ottawa Police Department for six years – three of those as a SRO.

What is the most interesting thing about your program? Our Law Enforcement II students work a complete indoor and outdoor crime scene from start to finish -including bystanders, media, and additional personal (from local agencies) acting in a variety of support roles.

What is your biggest success? A high number of our local law enforcement/correctional officers are former students of the OHS LPSS program.

What topic(s) has your school become “experts” in? I feel like our students have a great foundation in regards to processing crime scenes and of the legal processes that occur in the criminal justice field.

Who can other programs reach out to, to learn more about your program or expertise? Candie Campbell

Do you mind sharing an email for that person? 

 Dr. Arnold Laanui leads a lab on forensics with students

May 2022

Academy of Professional & Public Services

School Name: Waipahu High School

City and State: Waipahu, Hawaii

What type of school is the program in? Career Academy

Pathway(s) Offered: Law Enforcement, Legal Services/Law, Forensics, exploring Fire


 Students excavate a “grave”

Briefly describe your student demographics: The Academy of Law and Justice Administration is one of several academies at Waipahu High School. The campus services approximately 2,800 students and is the second largest high school in the State of Hawaii. Waipahu High School is also proud to be home to the first “wall-to-wall academy” in Hawaii with academies servicing, arts and communication, natural resources, health, industrial and engineering technologies, and professional and public services. Over 90% of the students are classified as Asian or Pacific Islanders.

Program leader: Dr. Arnold Laanui, former FBI

Program Teacher: Kelsy Kai-Yamamoto

Her Focus: Criminal Investigations I and II. Course focus on crime scene investigation and forensics. Pathway emphasis on crime scene investigations, forensic anthropology, pathology and medical examiners.

Program teacher: Ian Ferris

His Focus: Law, Public Safety and Criminology. Gateway instructor to careers in law to include judges, investigators, corrections, etc.

What is the most interesting thing about your program? Waipahu High School boast what is arguably the best field training exercise for students anywhere. This video explains why:

What is your biggest success? There are a lot of different ways to measure success. While we are indeed proud of how fast our program has grown and the partnerships we have been able to make with local law enforcement and early collaboration with the FBI, we are the most proud of the student who says, “I was thinking about pursuing a career in architecture, but now I think I want to pursue a career in law.” Launching careers and vocations are our biggest successes.

 Dr. Arnold Laanui

What is your biggest challenge? The biggest challenge isn’t necessarily the one we all face – diminishing budgets. Right now I anticipate the biggest challenge will be the varying degrees of learning loss we face as a result of the COVID pandemic. I anticipate that for many years to come, we will be working with students who are underprepared for school. I think I speak for all academies when I say we have our work cut out for us.

What topic(s) has your school become “experts” in? I think we are pretty adept in two areas: designing meaningful project-based learning experiences and introducing students to forensics.

Who can other programs reach out to, to learn more about your program or expertise? Dr. Arnold Laanui

Do you mind sharing an email for that person? 

Maybe we can all do a “field trip” to visit someday!