A Student a police office at Bryan Adams. (Photo courtesy of DISD.)

A criminal justice program that prepares high school students to work as Dallas police officers has begun at Bryan Adams High School, district officials said Tuesday.

The Criminal Justice Pathway allows students to earn up to 60 hours of free college credit while in high school. Curriculum will include courses like Crime in America, Intro to Homeland Security and Drug Use and Abuse.

Students will graduate with an associate degree and relevant training to begin the Dallas Police Department Academy. Graduates will have to wait until they turn 19 to join, but Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the district is working with the City of Dallas to find employment options during the gap.

The program is modeled after the one implemented at Carter High School in 2015. Councilman Adam Medrano heralded the program after seeing its success in Phoenix and Los Angeles, D Magazine reported. There are 96 students enrolled at Carter, and the first class is expected to graduate after next school year.

The Criminal Justice Pathway aims to diversify the police department and fill its depleted ranks with new recruits.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to enter a well-paying career where they can come back and serve the community they grew up in,” Hinojosa told the Hub.

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