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T.E.A.M. School Liaison Program Gains 25 New Officers

Twenty-five officers from around the state will soon be headed to classrooms in your community after graduating from the Teaching, Educating, and Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) School Liaison Program. The Michigan State Police (MSP) Grants and Community Service Division hosted the four-day training, which concluded Thursday, Feb. 27.

"I was a Community Service Trooper for six years and I went through this exact training," said class instructor Sgt. Martin Miller, MSP's Grants and Community Services Division. "This is my passion and I enjoy seeing others realize it's theirs too."

T.E.A.M. is a school-based, law-related curriculum that is taught to grades K-12 by T.E.A.M.-trained police officers with the goal of uniting educators, students and law enforcement officers to better equip children to protect themselves from crime.

Officers receive instruction in student/juvenile psychology, classroom management, and public speaking. In addition to traditional topics like personal safety, the T.E.A.M. curriculum has been updated to address current issues including bullying and harassment, cybercrime, school security, human trafficking, social media use and vaping.

This class included officers from five MSP Posts, eight sheriff's departments and nine city or township police departments. Trooper Paul Maxinoski, assigned to the Wakefield Post, was one of the participants.

"I was involved in the school system before I became a trooper, but I didn't know this program existed," said Trooper Maxinoski. "All of the students in our district attend class in the same building. I could be with first graders one hour and teenagers the next. This program has prepared all of us for class control at any age or grade."

T.E.A.M. allows officers to teach at any of the three levels of education - elementary, middle or high
school. The curriculum has been implemented in approximately 250 Michigan school districts in the time since it was developed in 1998 by the MSP, with the assistance of Central Michigan University.

"You are uniquely equipped to make a difference," said F/Lt. Kevin Caldwell, MSP Grants and Community Services Division, before dismissing the group. "I encourage you to shoot for one - one student, one community member, one person. Go do it and be great at it."