Dragon SRT students collect top finishes

Dragon SRT students collect top finishes
Posted on 04/01/2021
Dragon SRT students collect top finishes

The regional student response team competition may have looked different during a pandemic, but Nacogdoches High School continued to build upon previous success. NHS collected 12 top three finishes at the South East Texas Public Service Competition held earlier in March.

Fifteen students made up those top finishers, with the Dragons bringing home two first place trophies, six second place wins and four third place medals.

The Student Response Team is a club that’s part of Nacogdoches High School’s Career & Technical Education Department and is made up of students from the law enforcement course of study.

In Vidor, NHS had top finishers in foot pursuit, inmate processing, SWAT, qualifying an expert, Fingerprint Analysis and Collection, LE Agility Course, Bunker Gear, Opening Statement and Closing Argument.

These types of competitions place students in situations that mimic real-life circumstances. Many of the students are interested in pursuing law enforcement-related careers after high school and college.

“We go through different scenarios,” said senior SWAT team member Jacob Henson who is joining the U.S. Army after graduation. “We try to minimize the threat and make sure the suspect is in custody.”

“I’m so proud of these students,” said law enforcement instructor and team sponsor  Monica Hill-Newberg. “They work so hard to do well in these competitions, and it does require a lot of extra work.”

Student Response Team students spend time outside of class preparing for competitions, staying late or often practicing at odd hours. The team received help from Nacogdoches-area law enforcement, including Stephen F. Austin State University Police, City of Nacogdoches Police and Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office.

Henson was part of the Felony Traffic Stop Team that finished third overall. During that competition, team members work a traffic stop and have to safely sort things outs.

“We give direction to the driver, and we would bring him back,” said Henson. Team members have to secure any other passengers in the car, and conduct a check for weapons.

Senior Madilyn Bray finished second in Qualifying an Expert Witness, a category where she establishes the groundwork with the court and the jury before a witness can be considered “expert” during a trial.

“We worked hard for this,” said Bray, who last spring teamed with Tray Jones to earn a first place finish in crime scene investigation. That group didn’t get to move on because of the pandemic, and the state competition this year is postponed as well.

Dragons placed in the top three in the following areas:

1st Place Foot Pursuit – Stephanie Corona.

1st Place Inmate Processing – Stephanie Corona.

2nd Place SWAT – Jacob Henson, Adrian Recendez, Jedidiah Stone, Taylor Gates, Jeeana Menefee, William Haynes.

2nd Place Qualifying An Expert Witness – Madilyn Bray.

2nd Place Fingerprint Analysis and Collection – Jade Vivas.

2nd Place LE Agility Course – Jenny Lopez.

2nd Place Foot Pursuit – Breanna Nix.

2nd Place Bunker Gear – Anthony Balderas.

3rd Place Opening Statement – Jeeana Menefee.

3rd Place Closing Argument – Gabriela Hernandez.

3rd Place Inmate Processing – Gabriela Hernandez.

3rd Place Felony Traffic Stop – Jacob Henson, Taylor Gates, Edgar Reyes, Cooper Cross.

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