Criminal Justice’s Soul Searching

Sorana Joseph, Staff Writer

Members of the Criminal Justice Academy hosted the first annual Soul Searching softball tournament, collecting 55 pairs of new shoes and about $200 in cash to buy socks and shoes for needy kids. Police officers from the Sheriff’s office District 6 played against Chief softball players. The Chiefs won 11-5.

Before the game, academy members presented a check for $1,777.56 to the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund. The money raised from this year’s car washes and a car show. The idea for the softball game came from junior Jakeline Ticas, who said she wanted to help kids who don’t have basic school supplies.

“I’ve been through what they’ve been through,” said Ticas. “I want them to have someone to rely on.”

Ticas, who will be captain of the academy next year, said she wants the event to become a yearly fundraiser for the McKinney-Vento program, which also provides shelter and clothing for students in need.

The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department also brought its Eagle helicopter for tours during the game, providing kids an opportunity to tour the department helicopter and to pet police dogs.

“It’s nice to come together and show a different side of law enforcement,” said Corporal Fisher, the academy instructor. “We’re not all hard cases.”

Fisher said he looks forward to next year’s event and an opportunity to help students.

“You can’t have kids worrying about what they’re going to wear to school,” said Fisher. “They already have to worry about where they are going to sleep.”