Future police officer takes first place in the SkillsUSA Oregon criminal-justice competition

Angela Wilcox, a senior at Rex Putnam High School, leads weekly meetings as the president of SkillsUSA's law-enforcement chapter at Sabin-Schellenberg technical center.

PHOTO BY: MADISON DALLING-RAISNER - Angela Wilcox, a senior at Rex Putnam High School, hopes to become a police officer in Oregon using skills she gained in North Clackamas.The meetings involve learning about criminal justice and crime scene investigation trainings from Sabin-Schellenberg law-enforcement teacher Sam Freshner.

Last year, Wilcox took first place in the SkillsUSA Oregon criminal-justice competition for the state organization providing educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education.

Wilcox also was elected Oregon's law-enforcement chapter president at the State Leadership and Skills Conference of SkillsUSA, a Career Technical Student Organization that partners with students, teachers and the industry to prepare the future work force.

Wilcox's victory and election at the state level made her eligible for the 2017 national conference in Louisville, Kentucky, to represent Oregon.

Wilcox says she gained invaluable law-enforcement experience through SkillsUSA and would like to become a police officer in Oregon to "have that personal connection to helping people where I grew up."

"I was raised in Northeast Portland in the inner city, and in that area there was a lot of crime. Moving out to the suburbs I think is a lot different, but here I've had the opportunity to get some training in," she said.

Wilcox is the president of her chapter and state officer team. While her chapter duties — including leading weekly meetings, law enforcement trainings, and community service projects — are law enforcement specific, her state officer duties are not.

Her state officer duties include planning the yearly state conference with her officer team, representing the state during chapter visits at schools, and going through leadership training.

Without schools like Sabin-Schellenberg that have technical education, the leadership opportunities would be limited. The Sabin-Schellenberg center also has classes that participate in SkillsUSA such as cosmetology, manufacturing and engineering, electronics, automotive service technology and culinary arts.

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