Freshman honors students recently had the opportunity to tour the Dawson County Law Enforcement Center.
The Sept. 22 trip was a part of the Building Educated Students for Tomorrow program at Dawson County High and gave the students the opportunity to see how the center functions.
The program, which began in 2010, is sponsored by the various local governments and is coordinated by the board's government and community affairs director, Cathy Brooks.
"The BEST program builds a foundation of civic awareness for the youth of the community," Brooks said. "Students are given hands-on opportunities to understand day-to-day operations of county government."
Brooks added that she believes visiting the law enforcement center is a positive for impressionable children.
"Not only does this field trip offer information that might influence possible career decisions, but also paints a vivid picture of what will happen if we break the law," she said.
Among many other things, the class hears from speakers such as County Manager Kevin Tanner, Sheriff's Captain Tony Wooten, Commissioner Gary Pichon and County Attorney Joey Homans.
Sheriff Billy Carlisle believes that the program is important because it allows students to learn about opportunities after high school.
"I think it's important for us to get out there and talk to these kids about our careers and that it's good for the whole county to get out there and talk to them," Carlisle said. "They need to know that they have the opportunity to start a career when they graduate in the county that they live in and it's important for them to know what kind of careers they can pursue."
From fighting controlled fires on an Emergency Services field trip to sorting out the legalities of zoning issues, students come to understand just what county employees do for their community.
"Through BEST, students develop awareness of how our lives are affected by government while discovering his or her role in the community," Brooks said. "Students gain a better understanding of issues and challenges in government operations while learning how they may effectively influence decision making now and as the adult citizen."