High schoolers get insight into law enforcement

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L-R: Mayor Rolison, Lt. Clauson, Officer Jerziorski, and Deputy Licari prior to the first class.

POUGHKEEPSIE – A total of 74 students began an 11-week program in the City of Poughkeepsie last week known as “Careers in Law Enforcement.”  The students represent both Poughkeepsie and Arlington High Schools in the program that began in the city in 1998.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, who retired from the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department after 26 years of service in both the patrol and detective divisions, welcomed the students.  “I am excited for all of you,” he told the class while letting them know that there are several different opportunities for employment in the public safety field.

The program was started by City of Poughkeepsie Police Lieutenant Mel Clauson, who told the attendees on their first night that the upcoming classes will give them an opportunity to hear from members of law enforcement from several local, state, and federal agencies.

TPPD Officer Weronica Jerziorski.

At the first class, which meets weekly, the students heard from Dutchess County Deputy Sheriff Adrienne Licari and Town of Poughkeepsie Police Officer Weronica Jerziorski.  The two women gave an overview of their respective departments and were followed by Officer Charisma Collins from the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department.

Collins began her career in law enforcement with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office after graduating from the police academy in 2022.  Not long after graduation, she transferred to the city.  Collins brought a unique perspective to the class, explaining that she had attended the “Careers in Law Enforcement” class when she was in high school.

Students learned that the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department has 83 sworn officer positions, of which five are currently vacant.  The department covers 43 square miles and answered approximately 73,000 calls for service in 2021.

Explanations were provided regarding the different divisions within each department and the role each plays in public safety.