CCI, Wasco staff speak to high school students
Kern High School students learned about CDCR job options thanks to leaders from California Correctional Institution (CCI) and Wasco State Prison K-9 officers.
On May 17, CCI leadership joined two K-9 officers to speak with students enrolled in the school’s Career and Technical Education Center about CDCR.
Those speaking included:
- Warden Brian Cates
- Chief Deputy Warden (CDW) Pat Horn
- Sergeant Miguel Montano, Investigative Services Unit (ISU)
- Lieutenant Eric Barthelmes, Public Information Officer (PIO)
- K-9 Officer Harnek Sangha, Wasco
- K-9 Officer Joey Martinez, Wasco
The students were from specific classes preparing them for law enforcement careers.
CDW Horn opened by quizzing the class on questions like what CDCR stood for or their guess on our current inmate population. He rewarded correct answers with special CCI Challenge Coins. He then explained his role at the institution and spoke about how the institution is similar to a city with all the departments and functions within the institution.
The Warden followed up by touching on the vast opportunities the department has to offer as well as with the pay, benefits and retirement they’ll earn. He explained specialty departments like ISU as well as the route he took through various departments before becoming the Warden. The students asked questions about recidivism, staff-to-incarcerated ratios and how to calculate retirement.
Montano discussed his role as supervisor within the unit. He also talked about learning and the experience opportunities ISU has within the institution, as well as while assisting other law enforcement agencies with warrants, seizures and raids.
Sangha and Martinez discussed their roles as K-9 handlers, how they got started, their typical daily schedule, and training the dogs. Then, they demonstrated how K-9s Tucker and Rye can find a cell phone hidden in one of three boxes.
Barthelmes quizzed the students about the information other speakers provided, such as different jobs and retirement. In closing, he emphasized the word opportunity, explaining how CDCR is full of opportunities for them to work in a wide range of jobs in almost any region of the state.
Overall, the students were intrigued, engaged, interested and educated about the law enforcement field in which they plan to work.