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  • Youth get up-close look at justice careers at Feb. 13 expo

    Feb 14, 2019 | Read More News
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    Flowing Wells High School senior Daniel Baker knew since he was a little kid that he wanted to go into a career in law enforcement. So did Pueblo High School senior Eduwiges Cordova.

    That's why they didn't miss the chance to be among the 80-plus youth age 16-24 who attended a Justice Careers Expo Feb. 13 at the Tucson Police Department’s Westside Station. 

    Students who are looking for a career in law enforcement or the criminal justice system or just want to learn more about what a police officer or prosecuting attorney does on a daily basis were able to attend the expo, organized by the Pima County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Youth Council, Pima County One-Stop Career Center, the Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, Tucson Youth Development and Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center.  

    The WIB's Youth Council organizes a career expo each year focusing on a different industry sector. Past expos have looked at job opportunities in health and biosciences, logistics, aerospace and defense, infrastructure, natural and renewable resources and emerging technologies.
    SWAT team display
    Careers in justice and law enforcement are not just limited to roles such as police officer, lawyer, judge, or those who are seen in a courtroom. Support personnel also may be found in Pima County government, the city of Tucson, state of Arizona and at the federal level. 

    The expo included tours of the police station and forensic laboratories. an up-close look at what SWAT teams and bomb squads do, careers in border protection or within the prison system and what it's like to have a fellow cop -- canine, that is -- with you 24 hours a day.

    "She goes home with me every night," explained a TPD officer of his canine partner, Luna. 

    Speciality areas, like working with canines or on a SWAT team unit, require specialized training and aren't open to entry-level law enforcement officers. That's OK with Cordova and Baker. They know they'll have to work their way up to their dream jobs.

    For Cordova, that's a position as a forensic psychologist with the FBI. She's already well on her way: enrolled in a forensic biology class at Pueblo where a recent classroom discussion focused on profiling serial killers. She also has a scholarship offer waiting at Arizona State University.

    "Ever since I was little, I've just always wanted to go into law enforcement," she said.

    Aric Meares, who chairs the Workforce Investment Board, echoed the words of TPD Captain Diane Duffy, who's held a number of positions within the police force, all with a bottom line of wanting to help people.

    "I reached a crossroads in my life when we were expecting our first child," Meares told the students. "That's when I decided to join the Air Force. And I realized I found more joy in helping others than in just earning a paycheck.

    "Whatever you choose to do, have that passion."

    The Pima County Workforce Investment Board is appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to provide recommendations on local workforce policy and oversight of the Pima County One-Stop Career Center. The board includes representatives of local businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions.