Jermaine Lofton Explores Law Enforcement through KCTC Program


Jake Standerfer, Editor in Chief

The Kent Career Technical Center is known for giving high school students the opportunity to explore unique trades. However, one typically thinks of hands on careers such as automotive repair when the school is brought up. In fact, much more than just mechanics is offered at KCTC. For example, senior Jermaine Lofton is currently enrolled in the school’s law enforcement program.

“I didn’t think I’d be going into it because you have to do an application for it, and that took a very long time,” Jermaine said. “After you complete the application process you have to be interviewed by cops, so I was like, “I don’t know if I want to do this,” but it seemed interesting enough. I submitted the application and went to be interviewed by a police officer. I got in, and once I got into it I started all of what we were doing, and it was fun.”

Jermaine, along with his fellow classmates such as FHC senior Ryan Chapman, is involved with his second (or “B”) year in KCTC’s law enforcement program. The program, taught mostly by former police officers, gives students law enforcement credits that provide an easy path to becoming an officer or another type of law enforcement agent.

According to Ryan, in “B” year, each day the students “learn about how jails work, how to escort prisoners, going through court cases, writing out police reports, how to process prisoners, and much more.”

In the past, takedowns, traffic stops, high risk traffic stops, building searches, tapping up crime scenes, witness questioning, fingerprinting and more have been studied and practiced through practical exercises.

Instructors for the program, utilizing their prior experience in law enforcement, build training exercises that train students in real-life situations. For example, they might set up a room and simulate a dark building search, or they could use three cars to imitate a high-risk traffic stop.

According to Jermaine, many police officers who were a part of a huge wave of recruitment several decades ago are beginning to retire, and a new wave of recruitment is happening as a result. This, coupled with the merits of KCTC’s program, will make it so Jermaine “probably [has] no problem being hired.” This bodes well, as he is “dedicated and committed to being a police officer.”

Ryan, unlike Jermaine, does not plan on entering law enforcement outside of high school. However, he still sees the benefit to participating in the program.

“I enjoy bonding with the class. Everyone really comes together and they really teach you how to become a big family,” Ryan said. “And not only do you get college credit that really help you along, you also get to know the ins and outs of multiple police departments. If you want to become a state trooper, you get to know all of the state troopers.”

Jermaine is also involved in an internship program called the Grand Rapids Police Department Explorers. There, he enters more advanced simulations and continues his police training. This program will lead to an actual internship and a direct hiring later down the line.

Ever since he was a kid, Jermaine wanted to be a police officer. However, rather than letting his dreams float as dreams, KCTC’s program has opened a door for him into the world of law enforcement that offers an incredible opportunity.