LRVC law enforcement program opens doors, explores options

DUSTIN FRIZZELL, a student enrolled in the LRVC law enforcement program, stands at attention while instructor Shawn McDermott makes a presentation before the SAD 61 School Board Monday night. (Rivet Photo)

DUSTIN FRIZZELL, a student enrolled in the LRVC law enforcement program, stands at attention while instructor Shawn McDermott makes a presentation before the SAD 61 School Board Monday night. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer
Like a member of the British Royal Guard standing watch outside of Buckingham Palace, Dustin Frizzell stared straight ahead as Lake Region Vocational Center law enforcement instructor Shawn McDermott spoke before the SAD 61 School Board.
Classmate Brandon George barely blinked and showed no response when LRVC Director Rosie Schacht attempted to ask him a question.
“My goal is simple,” said McDermott regarding LRVC’s law enforcement program. “I want to mold young minds and build character. We want to educate, give students a chance to experience different opportunities and see if they have an interest in law enforcement (as a career).”
McDermott presented a PowerPoint outlining the fourth-year program, as well as answered questions from board members Monday night. All the while, students dressed in uniform and positioned throughout the Great Room remained at full attention.
The law enforcement program consists of about 24 students, four to five of them females. McDermott said the program is designed to mimic the Police Academy, which holds students to high standards, including signing a Code of Conduct and being able to meet physical fitness standards.
A longtime member of law enforcement, McDermott expressed his “love of teaching” and his desire to teach students the importance of professionalism, integrity, self-control and honesty.
McDermott tries to expose his students to a wide range of professionals with law enforcement ties, including game wardens, county deputies and members of the Armed Services. He noted that some former LRVC graduates have moved on to law enforcement careers, including Nathan Mitchell, a 2013 grad, who now works as a correctional officer at the Cumberland County Jail.
“It’s not unusual to see a police cruiser parked in front of the school, and it’s for a good reason — people are here as guest speakers,” Schacht told the school board.
School board notes
• The annual Tree lighting and Holiday Concert at Lake Region High School will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 10, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
• Due to some technical problems with the Infinite Campus system, high school grades for the second ranking period will be posted today, Thursday, at 8:30 a.m.
• Donna Dodge, of Denmark, invited school board members to attend a forum this Saturday, Dec. 6, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., at Shawnee Peak regarding Common Core Standards.
Dodge is a member of Mainers Against Common Core. She said special guest speakers plan to address Common Core shortfalls and the need to organize an attempt to repeal usage in Maine.
“Common Core radically changes the way K-12 is being taught in Maine and across the United States,” Dodge told directors. “Forty-four states accepted Common Core — including Maine when it accepted Race to the Top federal funds — and now 24 states are actively pursuing to repeal it.”
Why repeal it? Dodge says Common Core takes away local control. While curriculum development remains a local matter, programming must “line up” to meet standards and assessments created at the federal level.
Dodge also pointed out that Common Core is driving up the cost of testing from $5 per student to over $20, “something Maine can’t afford,” she added.
Dodge thanked directors for the opportunity to speak briefly about the No Common Core Maine effort. No director asked a question or made a comment.
The public is welcome to attend the free forum.

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