Criminal Justice Junior First Student To Receive Lancaster Challenge Coin
Cameron Pickett wants to patrol the city streets for the Columbus Division of Police someday. The junior from Pickerington Central High School is well on his way, studying criminal justice at Fairfield Career Center and picking up his first award from the Lancaster Police Department.
“I was pretty shocked when he put it on me,” Pickett said. “It” is the Lancaster PD’s Challenge Coin, given out by the department as a way to recognize good work. He is Sgt. Mike Peters, who, along with Officer Jim Marshall, had given a presentation to students in November on ALICE, a nationally-recognized active shooter response program. Instructor Jason Barton then had students write a reflection paper about what they had learned.
“Cameron’s paper was well written and displayed a high level of attention to detail,” said Sgt. Peters. “He even mentioned the little things that often get missed if you’re not paying close attention.”
Pickett’s paper described the highlights of the ALICE protocal: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. In it, Pickett describes how the counter tactic played out in an active shooter simulation in class. “The officers told us by throwing objects at the shooter that it would throw the shooter off guard and disorient them making it less likely to hurt us. I was chosen to play the role of shooter…and it was very difficult to take my time to aim…due to being attacked with a large amount of tennis balls.”
His attention to detail was echoed by his instructor, Jason Barton. “His paper was well beyond the requirements,” he said, “and reflects his work ethic and how he approaches his academics.”
Pickett was initially concerned he overdid it. “I was supposed to write three paragraphs but I wrote three pages instead.” Sgt. Peters said while there were several well-written papers, Pickett’s report stood out because he was able to summarize the 90-minute presentation and highlight the major points.
“He (Sgt. Peters) taught me how to be more aware of my surroundings and how to act and react if something were to happen,” said Pickett.
The challenge coin is cut in the shape of the Lancaster PD’s badge and has the department’s mission statement, “To provide protection and high quality police services to all” on the back side. The department only began handing out the coins in December as a way to recognize deserving individuals. Pickett was the first student to receive one.