Did you know that most K-9 handlers are multilingual, working with canine officers who respond to commands in foreign languages?
Just before winter break, members of CA's CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and SAR (Search and Rescue) clubs met with members of the Raleigh Police Department's Special Operations Division at Dix Park. There, they learned about the specialized roles that K-9 and SWAT officers play in serving the community and the training officers in those units receive.
Director of Safety and Security, Jeff Wacenske, accompanied CA's CERT and SAR clubs on December 19, 2019 for presentations from the RPD's Selective Enforcement Unit and K-9 units. Captain J.A. Taylor of RPD's Special Operations Division assisted in coordinating and conducting the presentations.
SEU's Officer Hogan showed the students what equipment is routinely carried in a SWAT officer’s patrol vehicle and shared what a typical day is like for SWAT. He also discussed the "not-so-typical" specialty requests they receive, including: serving drug search warrants, dignitary protection, barricaded subjects, high-risk arrest warrant service.
The K-9 unit's Sergeant Hoyle explained how extensive the training of a K-9 is and how RPD goes about acquiring a K-9. Demonstrations were held on how a K-9 conducts an article search and person search. Sergeant Hoyle also shared that part of the K-9 training includes protecting the handler, in the event that the police officer is being assaulted. He revealed that, in most cases, the commands a handler gives to their K-9 are in a foreign language.
In both instances, students had the opportunity for a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of crisis and emergency response careers.
CA's CERT program trains students to prepare for emergencies in their communities. CERT students also help with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.
Belated congratulations to Brynn Oliver '21 who has earned the prestigious Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of America. The Gold Award is the highest accolade conferred by the Girl Scouts, awarded to only 7% of Girl Scouts that complete a minimum of 80 hours of service that leaves a lasting impact on their community.
For her project, Oliver partnered with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, creating 12 raised garden beds that will help to address community hunger for years to come.
"I had worked with the food bank in the past and knew that I wanted to work with them on a project that would maximize impact. I wanted to help as many people as possible," offers Oliver. "They had a dirt pit in their parking lot; they really wanted garden space."
Oliver ran with the suggestion, working with Youth Service America to identify an appropriate grant opportunity. After crafting a successful application, she was awarded $800 by Sodexo to fund her project.
Oliver designed and constructed the raised beds, researching gardening best practices and ADA compliance to ensure that they were wheelchair accessible. She worked with master gardeners to determine what fruits and vegetables to plant, establishing a planting rotation that would ensure a substantial year-round yield. To maximize cost-effectiveness, she chose to build the beds using reclaimed pallet wood.
Oliver hopes that her project will serve as an exemplar that can be scaled easily and inexpensively by other organizations or individuals looking to combat food insecurity. To that end, she also created a brochure detailing how to replicate the project.
Overall, it's been a powerful learning experience, offering lessons in leadership, communication, and collaboration. "I learned so much throughout this process," says Oliver. "I had to work with so many different people and organizations—Youth Service America, Sodexo, volunteers, mentors, local school groups, and others—to realize my vision. It was a lot of work to get to a common goal; communication was so important. To be successful, I had to sell the project—sell my dream—to them, to convince them why it was worth their time to get involved, to show them the impact we could have working together."
By all accounts, the project was a success. As a result of her award, Oliver was chosen to represent her local Girl Scouts council at the state level as the official nominee for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, the largest youth recognition program based on volunteer community service in the country. She was later awarded that honor in March 2019.
She has also received the gold-level Presidential Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious national honor that recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time to their communities.
This morning, Cary Academy hosts the Triangle Independent School Consortium, bringing together Heads of School and Admissions Officers from 18 schools in the Triangle to discuss trends in enrollment management. International presenter and content specialist Geordie Mitchell, Director of Enrollment Management and Strategic Initiatives at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, presented.