February 5, 2015 (Kansas City, Kan.): Bishop Ward High School had 14 members of its Junior Police Academy (JPA) attend a public hearing concerning diversity in public safety and recruitment practices at City Hall. The hearing was hosted by Mayor Mark Holland and the Department of Justice.
Louis Adrian Villarreal ’15, had the opportunity to address Mayor Holland and other distinguished members at the forum. Villarreal spoke about Bishop Ward’s partnership with the Kansas City, Kans. Police Department and the JPA.
Villarreal advised that “the JPA is a great opportunity for students to learn what it takes to be a police officer.”
He noted that “it is important for students to understand how the law enforcement system works and how it pertains to our rights and responsibilities as members of the KCK community.”
Villarreal encouraged the mayor and the rest of the panel to hire police cadets from the JPA program, 28 of whom are minorities as a way to promote diversity within the police force.
He also took the chance to inform the panel about Bishop Ward’s increased participation in the JPA program. In 2013, 11 students graduated from the compared to 31 students who are participating and are expected to graduate from the JPA program this year.