Who We Are
What is LAPSEN?
In 2002, the USDoE created a Career Cluster called Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security (LPSCS). This cluster provides a framework for secondary and post-secondary schools to create curriculum and career pathways for students interested in the careers of law enforcement, fire services, security and the like. LAPSEN is the leading national organization supporting these efforts with the focus at the secondary school level. It provides and shares LPSCS career education programs, curriculum, certifications and models that help connect secondary students to work and colleges that are cost-effective and can be used by secondary school instructors, their partners and participating states.
Law & Public Safety Education Network: Work Smarter
Recorded at ACTE Vision 2020
To help develop and share LPSCS career education programs, curriculum, certifications, and models that help connect students to work and college that are cost effective and can be used by participating states and other partners.
Identify needs of the member states, LPSCS instructors and work, using a variety of methods to meet those needs.
Developing ways of communicating with all members and their constituents to share resources including curriculum, certifications, assessments, and related materials.
Sponsor and/or recommend conferences and workshops as deemed useful by LAPSEN members
To the extent practical, include those organizations and agencies supporting education and training related to the LPSCS Career Cluster in decision-making processes related to LAPSEN goals.
Why LAPSEN Was Created
To enter the targeted professions, many of the career pathways in the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security (LPSCS) Career Cluster have several obstacles unique to the Cluster including age, physical fitness, and various certification needs. Compounding these are differing requirements within the states. Irrespective of these differences, most states can reduce costs and provide more effective career development initiatives by collaborating in program, curriculum, and certification development to include cost sharing. A number of states established LAPSEN to achieve those purposes.
What We Do
LAPSEN is set up to serve the needs of secondary schools that have career programs in the career areas of law, law enforcement, corrections, Fire services, security and related fields such as emergency services, emergency dispatch, cybersecurity, and forensics.
The services provided include curriculum development, certifications for both students and instructors, training for instructors, assistance in developing and improving LPSCS career programs, and certifying and assessing current programs for quality and effectiveness.
The structure of LAPSEN consists of the following:
Board of Directors: Each member state appoints of person to represent it on the Board, as well as one alternate. Board membership will be updated on an annual basis. These are the voting members. In addition, certain groups represented in LAPSEN committees, such as colleges and non-profit professional associations may select one representative to serve on the Board as a non-voting member. Executive Committee: This committee consists of Board members and is composed of the chairperson, vice chair, past chair, treasurer, secretary, and up to three board members.
This committee shall represent the board on day to day matters, plan Board meetings, and oversee projects unless delegated by the Committee. Other responsibilities may be assigned as approved by the Board. The Executive Committee will be elected by the Board of Directors at an annual meeting. The following terms will apply:
Chairperson – A term of two years (after initial two years, the Chairperson will not be as the Vice Chair will automatically assume the position of Chairperson at the end of this year)
Vice Chair – A term of two years but will be moved into the Chairperson’s position at the end of their Vice Chair term (only voted on as Vice Chair).
Past Chair – This position will not exist in the first two years and is not a position voted on by the board. The immediate past Chairperson will serve in this position for two years after his or her term as Chairperson has expired.
Treasurer –A term of two years, may be re-elected once.
Secretary – A term of two years may be re-elected once.
Three Board members – eventually these Board members will serve staggered terms with one board member going off the board each year and one being added each year. Terms will be three years. For first-year elections, one member will be elected for a 1-year term, one for a two-year term, and one for a three-year term.
Special committees and project teams are formed as approved by the board and include the general membership.
Board of Directors
Steven Watterson, Chair
Education Associate at South Carolina Department of Education. After a full career as a Naval Officer, service in CTAE for over 15 years!
Learn more about Mr. Watterson: Click Here
Dr. David Barbour, Past Chair
Education Consultant for Trade & Industry at North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Nearly two decades working in technical education.
Learn more about Dr. Barbour: Click Here
Candace Vinson, Secretary
Education Consultant at Michigan Department of Education, Office of Career & Technical Education, Career Readiness Unit. Over a decade working in technical education, she was a Family Consumer Science teacher before moving into administration.
Learn more about Mrs. Vinson: Click Here
Dr. Thomas Washburn, Treasurer
A recent retiree as Program Specialist for LPSCS pathways for Fulton County Schools (Atlanta, Georgia) and classroom teacher at the Cambridge Law & Justice Program (Milton, Georgia). Tom is the Executive Director for LAPSEN
Learn more about Dr. Washburn: Click Here
Katie Fitzgerald, Executive Committee
Director of Communications and Membership at Advance CTE. In her first decade working in education policy work in Washington D.C..
Learn more about Mrs. Fitzgerald: Click Here
Crystal Roberts, Executive Committee
Education Program Consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education. Vast expeirence in workforce and employment training.
Learn more about Ms. Roberts: Click Here
Cindy Beck, Executive Committee
Health Careers Education Programs Consultant for the California Department of Education. Vast expeirence in health care, mental health and work with HOSA.
Learn more about Ms. Beck: Click Here
Dr. Joseph N. Coffee
Over three decades working with career programs across the nation. 20 years experience working with Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security programs. Formerly worked with the ATF. Joe is the past Executive Director for LAPSEN.
Learn more about Dr. Coffee: Click Here
Jordan Whittington, State Representative
Program Director for Health and Public Safety at the Colorado Community College System. Started as a Army Combat Medic, taught Health Science and now works for the CCCS.
Learn more about Mr. Whittington: Click Here
Sandra Martin, State Representative
Georgia Department of Education Program Specialist. Several decades working in technical education, she was a nurse and then a Health Science teacher before moving into administration.
Learn more about Mrs. Martin: Click Here
Peggy Williford, State Representative
Kentucky Department of Education Program Consultant. Several decades working in technical education, she was a nurse and then a Health Science teacher before moving into administration.
Learn more about Mrs. Williford: Click Here
Dr. Oscar Carter, State Representative
Director of Skilled Technical Sciences at the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Over three decades working in technical education.
Learn more about Dr. Carter: Click Here
Our Partners, Members and Advisors
|Katie||Fitzgerald||Advance CTE||Executive Board, Partner|
|Cindy||Beck||CA DOE||Executive Board, Full State|
|Chip||Depietro||Charlotte Co, Fl||Full School District|
|Steve||Dalton||Future Guardians of Virginia||Partner|
|Sandra||Martin||GA DOE||Full State|
|Cale||Hutchings||IA DOE||Advisory State|
|Peggy||Williford||KY DOE||Full State|
|Crystal||Roberts||KS DOE||Executive Board, Full State|
|Thomas||Washburn||LAPSEN||Executive Board, Executive Director Treasurer|
|Joe||Coffee||LAPSEN||Executive Board Secretary|
|Carrie||Hernandez||Las Cruces, NM||Full School District|
|Candace||Vinson||MI DOE||Advisory State|
|Oscar||Carter||MO DESE||Executive Board, Full State|
|Aimee||Brown||MS DOE||Advisory State|
|Ed||Butler||MS DOE||Advisory State|
|David||Barbour||NC DPI||Executive Board Chair|
|Rick||Schmidt||NM PED||Advisory State|
|Randi||Hunewill||NV DOE||Advisory State|
|Crystal||Nowka||Oakland MI||Full School District|
|Steve||Watterson||SC DOE||Executive Board, Full State, Vice Chair|
|Dale||Fowler||Texas TEA||Advisory State|
|Patricia||Blades||Oakland||Full School District|