Law Enforcement in the Community
Essay title: Law Enforcement in the Community
The first individual I will be writing my reflection on is K-9 Officer Justin Scalzo. Officer Justin Scalzo is a member of the Jeanette Police Department, along with his partner and companion Wando. Wando is a German Shepard dog that is born and trained over in Germany until he is able to be handled by other officers. He is then delivered to the United States to be matched with a K-9 officer. Other types of dogs used in K-9 work are Black labs, which are specifically used for more narcotics and bomb detection. Also used in K-9 work are Rottweilers and Dobermans. There are usually three classifications for K-9 dogs. The classifications of dogs are patrol or attack dogs, Narcotics dogs, or tracking dogs. The key to the dog success in the field is their training. Officer Scalzo will record eight hundred hours of training in a single year alone. He will also have to learn to speak specific commands in a German tongue, because the dogs are trained in the German language and not in English. The key to having your dog listen to you in the field of duty is all of the training you and your partner endure and also the K-9 and handler has to have voice recognition between them. So when in the field your dog is not pursuing a suspect and then stops when the suspect says “stop”, instead of you commanding the dog.

I think it would be an incredible experience to have not only a partner on the job, but also a companion in the home. Because when you become a K-9 officer, you have the responsibility of not only controlling your dog in the field, but also when you go home to sleep. So does the dog, because he is apart of your family now and forever, even when the dog eventually retires usually after eight to ten years of duty and will be a part of the family at that time.

To reflect on another experience of class which was informing, was when Karen Slater came and talk to us about the “Juvenile Justice System” and her involvement in it. Karen Slater is a Juvenile probation officer in Westmoreland County and the surrounding area. The juvenile justice system was established about thirty five years ago in the area but is known primarily as the Westmoreland County Youth Commission. The Youth commission was started to help minors or youths who are first time offenders from getting a permanent juvenile record. The youth commission also tries to provide youths with greater opportunities of doing well in life and also in their local communities. These community commissions also help in the reduction of court referrals. The cases they handle range from one hundred and fifty to three hundred cases per year. These cases are handled within the community and are diverted from the courts. With her being a probation officer she monitors curfew checks, random drug testing and also handles the electronic monitoring programs. Also, Karen Slater talked about her role in the process of the B.A.R.J. system of juvenile rehabilitation. B.AR.J. which stands for Balanced and Restorative Justice is now the mission of the juvenile justice system is to help youths and minors not get sent to jail and detention centers. The goals of B.A.R.J. or the juvenile justice are to hold offenders accountable for their actions and allow them to take responsibility for the harm they have caused. Also it helps the offender build relationships in the community and find a meaningful way to repair harm done in the community. Karen Slater also works or helps with a program in surrounding area called Outside In, which entails taking delinquent youths on wilderness expeditions for counseling and a chance to reflect on their lives. For many of the teens, life has become unmanageable due to their powerlessness over drugs and alcohol, as well as other addictive behavioral patterns. The wilderness setting itself can be a powerful teacher. It softens the heart and opens the mind to receive new perspectives and learning. In this natural classroom, the students engage in experiential learning, self-discovery and the powerful elements of choice and consequence. I think after hearing Karen Slater talk about her involvement in these programs, shows to me that she ahs a great compassion for the youths in the programs and also hope to see them succeed.

Another reflection that I have regrettably is when the class was suppose to take a tour of the Westmoreland County Prison. Unfortunately, myself and another student had gone to the wrong detention center for criminals and had missed the opportunity to take a tour of the facility with our class. I think it would have been a great experience for me to have seen the actions inside of a prison and to have been able to have a sense of what really goes on in a prison and not just know by the depictions of what I see in movies or on television. But I was able to take the tour of the State trooper barracks which is located in Greensburg. I think that being able to see how a government

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Westmoreland County Youth Commission And Karen Slater. (April 6, 2021). Retrieved from