Seniors in Law & Public Safety volunteer to drive the program's cruiser.

Students in Rex Cockrell’s Law & Public Safety program will get to expand their hands-on learning opportunities exponentially thanks to the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday, Sheriff Matthew O. Hafey and several deputies delivered a 2009 Ford Explorer to be used by Cockrell’s senior cadets.

“This will provide hands-on education in conducting traffic stops and approaches, vehicle searches, cruiser inspections and patrol techniques, just to name a few uses,” Cockrell said.

The sheriff said his department was fortunate to get funding from the county commissioners to upgrade its vehicle fleet and Lt. Christopher Hempstead brought the idea of donating the old cruiser to Chief Deputy James A. Brown and Sheriff Hafey.

“I brought it to the board of commissioners who approved the transfer,” Hafey said.

Superintendent Jonathan Davis said Brown, who is on Cockrell’s advisory committee, “talked to me at a local football game about the opportunity and how they wanted to help our students.”

Hafey and his deputies acknowledge the cruiser needs some automotive work.

By giving the cruiser to Pickaway-Ross, Hafey said, “the auto mechanic program can use the vehicle to train their students on repair. The auto body program can train their students on body repairs and applying decals. Finally, the law enforcement program will have the ability to use an actual cruiser in their training, providing for more realistic training scenarios.”

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