Criminal justice club heads to SkillsUSA

Daniella Moreno, Staff Writer

This Saturday, the criminal justice club will attend a SkillsUSA Competition at Temple College. Two teams of four will compete in a building search scenario. 

“I’m excited for the experience,” sophomore Geraldine Quintana said. “I’m expecting our team to make the most of it, as well as treat it like a learning experience.”

Criminal Justice teacher Refugio Navarro said he wanted to take candidates that really tried to help fundraising, attended meetings and are really dedicated. Eight members will be able to compete, compared to the four that competed last year.

“We had lots of fun [last year], we ended up going and stopping by Buc-ee’s,” Navarro said. “And then we went to a surprisingly good restaurant.”

Each team will have a senior captain, while the rest will be new at the competition. 

“I think they’ll really help everybody on the team out,” Geraldine said. “Especially since they competed last year, they’ll definitely be able to give everybody new a sense of direction.” 

Unfortunately, the members will not know the scenario before they compete, so Navarro said the club’s strategy is to pay attention and listen. 

“It can consist of many different factors,” he said. “It can be somebody with a weapon, it may be somebody hiding a bomb. We do not know the scenario until we get there.”

The criminal justice club has been practicing for the competition with traffic stops and building searches. 

“The practices help by creating familiarity with the team,” Geraldine said. “I think they’ll make it easier when we compete because we’ll all be used to working together.”

In fall of 2022, the club had a fundraiser for the competition to cover the cost of registration and their uniforms. Unfortunately, the fundraiser was only able to cover eight students instead of the original 12 they had wanted to take. Geraldine said despite the low fundraising, she’s still glad they even have the opportunity to compete. 

“I’m just expecting it to be a fun day,” she said. “I want to compete but also have fun with our team.”