Attracting students to policing, emergency services


Katie Brandis, Communications Manager at the Law Enforcement Administrative Facility in Flagstaff, shows Flagstaff-area high school students how the Dispatch Center works.


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The high school students listened intently to the 9-1-1 call. The woman told the dispatcher that her baby wasn’t breathing. The dispatcher, calmly, walked the mother through the steps of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until emergency crews could arrive.


“We are all super passionate about what we do,” said Katie Brandis, Communications Manager at the Law Enforcement Administrative Facility in Flagstaff. And, even though the work is stressful, she added, it is also very rewarding and dispatchers often make a difference between life and death.


Twelve students from area high schools spent the day on Nov. 14 at the Law Enforcement Administrative Facility learning about the careers in policing and emergency services available in Flagstaff and in the county. The event, the second installment of a two-day series, was organized by the Coconino County Arizona @ Work Business Service team, of which Coconino Community College is a member.


“We hope to see these students graduate CCC and the (police) academy and maybe even NAU,” said Brent Neilson, Superintendent for the Coconino Association for Vocations, Industry and Technology (CAVIAT) Education District, another member of the team. “Our goal is to paint the picture for students what lies ahead in their law enforcement training, educational pathway.”


The effort is part of a series of steps to attract area students – create a talent pipeline – to careers in a variety of fields locally. Recently, the team held an Industrial Technology Summit at CCC to bring students, teachers, employers and community leaders together with the goal to connect students with rewarding careers.


Thursday’s event focused solely on policing and emergency services. The students were treated to presentations and tours of Dispatch, the Coconino County jail, the Flagstaff Police Department and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Coconino County Search and Rescue. Both CAVIAT and CCC offer education that helps students achieve goals to work in policing and emergency services careers.


Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll explained to the students how law enforcement in the county and city work together out of the same building and share many services, including dispatch, records and more.


“We’re always recruiting, and we’re always looking to our local people,” Driscoll said.


Although law enforcement careers like officer and deputy require applicants to be 21 years old, many people apply for jobs like dispatch, or detention specialist to get their career started and then work their way into a policing career.


Neilson said that other steps in the process for students include: CAVIAT will pay for CPR and first-aid training through CCC; will establish Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT) training; will discuss post-secondary education opportunities for careers in policing and emergency services; will offer ride-along opportunities for students to get a sense of what law enforcement personnel experience on the job.


“Essentially, we hope to create and engaged cohort of youth who plan to train and work in law enforcement,” Neilson said.


For more information about the CAVIAT program, visit For more information about CCC, visit For more information about FUSD’s College and Career Development program, visit



Tuesday, 26th November 2019

All Dates

  • Tuesday, 26th November 2019