UCCI Course Description

Protective Services Academy

Overview Course Content Course Materials
Length of Course
Full Year (2 semesters; 3 trimesters; 4 quarters)
Subject Area - Discipline
College-preparatory Elective (G) - Interdisciplinary
UC Honors Designation
CTE Sector
Public Services
CTE Pathway
Public Safety
Grade Level(s)
9 - 12


Students will demonstrate the skills, abilities and knowledge to enter a peace officers field-training program, and execute the duties of a peace officer in society. The program will include instruction in :

  • Communication skills, with emphasis on listening, reading, speaking, writing, and thinking as it relates to law enforcement.
  • Basic concepts of criminal law, principles of law enforcement, constitutional law, the criminal justice system and other law related topics.
  • Health training, including nutrition, mental and physical health, will be integrated to satisfy the physical education standards as set forth by the California Department of Education or district requirements.
  • Effectively integrate technology as appropriate/needed to complete investigations.
  • All students will follow a Chain of Command and a Professional Code of Conduct. Students will stand at attention, address adults as “Ma’am” or “Sir”, adhere to specific grooming standards, and wear a uniform.
  • Physical, mental and emotional fitness will be focused on throughout the course.  Students will be required to maintain a fitness log that addresses the main physical tests they would encounter in a law enforcement academy.  Logs tracking their progress would be included in the portfolio.
  • Encouragement of participation and performance of Community Services, to develop the mindset of a public servant, to develop good citizenship, and to promote an ongoing involvement in their community.
  • Throughout the course, students will create and maintain a working portfolio which reflects the skills and abilities they obtained and can be carried forward into a Public Services Academy in the future. Examples of what should go into the portfolio are outlined in the units below.  Upon completion of the student portfolio, they will take part in a mock interview process with representation from Police, Corrections, Probation, Sheriff, Highway Patrol or other pertinent agencies. This interview will serve as a means for students to display work and take part in an interview process.  During the interview, students will be challenged with questions such as: Would you give a ticket to your mother? How would you respond in a stressful situation? This will result in students having to reflect upon the knowledge gained in this course.

Course Content

Unit 1 : Public Services Organization & Professional Ethics

Unit 1 Description

Students will explore the “Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.” Once students have a thorough understanding of the ethics, missions and structure of public service organizations, they will be able to create a class mission statement to follow for the year and take part in an interview process for positions within the chain of command for the class. The students will read and utilize the learning domain book Peace Officer Standards and Training LD 01 throughout this Unit.  Students will evaluate ethical issues that may arise in the public services sector, and weigh in with an opinion of how it affects local and state authorities. Throughout this unit and the entire course, students will keep a portfolio that will serve as a graded component during their mock interview with industry professionals.

  1. Students will research the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and how it originated.  Students will be broken up into five teams and assigned a paragraph of the Code of Ethics, they will create a poster that demonstrates what their paragraph in the Code of Ethics represents to their group personally. Students are encouraged to use examples from their personal lives to bring meaning to the document. This posters will be displayed around the room as a constant reminder of the importance of the Code of Ethics.
  2. Students will research Law Enforcement Mission Statements from the local agencies that serve their communities (Police, Corrections, Sheriff, etc.).  Students will compare and contrast similarities and differences between the statements using a Venn diagram. Next, as a class, students discuss what makes up a good mission statement.  Then students will then develop and agree upon a class mission statement for the year. This statement will be posted in the classroom to guide instruction for the year. Next, in classroom debates, students will use their class mission statement to analyze current events in order to compare and contrast the actions of law enforcement with those values stated in mission statements.  To do so, students will research articles on current events from reliable sources. Based on their discussion, students will finally develop a personal mission statement or motto for themselves- a standard that they will hold themselves to on a daily basis.
  3. Students will be presented with different law enforcement ethical dilemmas that will be debated in a Socratic seminar type format, allowing the student to address both sides of an issue and in some cases, forcing them to take a stance opposite of their own ethical beliefs.  Please refer to the following webpage for Ethical Dilemmas, Online Article: Ethics Training. Students will be evaluated for their participation in the Socratic seminar on elements determined by the teacher.
  4. Using the student's new knowledge of the Public Services Organization & Professional Ethics and based on prior readings of current events, students will write a reflective paper which answers the following prompt: Given your new knowledge, what is your opinion of the news portrayal of law enforcement, and how would you respond to a negative viewpoint?

Unit 2 : Constitutional Law

Students will review the U.S. Constitution, with a concentration on the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments specifically. Students will examine how the Judicial Branch of the government creates case law through their interpretation of the Constitution and how court decisions impact law enforcement. Students will read, analyze and summarize published court decisions that have directly influenced law enforcement powers, authority, and tactics.  

Students will be exposed to criminal court proceedings by taking a tour and observing an actual case being tried in court.  Lawyers will be invited to the class to do presentations, exposing the students to actual real-life cases and situations. Students will also be expected to review current events and document how these situations affect Constitutional Law.

  1. From the website, Justia website on Supreme Court Cases students will review an assigned case law decision from the Judicial Branch of the government. Sample court case laws to be analyzed include Miranda vs. Arizona; Mapp vs. Ohio; Terry vs. Ohio; Weeks vs. U.S.; Brown vs. Mississippi; etc. Students will then write a paper regarding their assigned case law. The paper should include a summary of the criminal case and the outcome of the court’s decision. Students should also include analysis of whether or not they agree with the Supreme Court ruling, and should base this thinking on research and their personal mission statements. The students will then get into groups of 4-5 to share their knowledge of the cases through a role play scenario or demonstration that will be evaluated and graded by the instructor. The role play should include the group of students playing out the trial based on the information they researched. During the demonstration group members will be on both sides of the argument and share the key takeaways from the court case.  After the demonstration the class will share which side of the argument they found to win and then the group will share the actual court ruling and how the decision was made.
  2. Students will take part in a classroom tour/observation of a Criminal Court proceeding. Students will complete a writing assignment on their observations, to include identifying and summarizing the court cases. Students will document the Criminal Law violation, the reason for arrest and explain any Constitutional Law violations.  Examples include illegal detention, search and seizure or Miranda violations.
  3. Using knowledge  gained in assignments one and two, students will discuss current events and how the issues involved in the events relate to laws that govern the public (i.e. the San Bernardino iPhone controversy: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/02/16/apple-san-bernardino-iphone-magistrate-order/80478844/), and engage in a formal debate in which one student takes the “for” side and one takes the “against” side.  Both sides will have to provide support for their assigned position in the debate, to include citations of laws and relevant case law. Students also cite constitutional amendments when coming to a consensus opinion on either side.  While students debate, the remainder of the class determines who argued the point the best. All students will be given an opportunity to play all roles.
  4. In a culminating project, students then will apply what they learned from the unit and take part in a mock trial focusing on a case of the teacher’s choice, in which they will act as attorneys in a courtroom setting. In preparation, two (2) attorneys (a Deputy D.A. and a Public Defender) will give presentations to the class. Students will take notes on the presentations about how these attorneys work with law enforcement, and compare/contrast the roles of these attorneys. Students should also prepare and ask questions of the attorneys in preparation for the mock trial. The invited attorneys will be the jury for the mock trial to evaluate how the students perform. The mock trial will be recorded, to aid students with feedback and reflection.

Unit 3 : Physical Training and Mental Wellness

In order to be accepted into and graduate from a Law Enforcement Academy, students must possess fundamental physical capabilities.  Students will need to train for the physical ability test, so the course includes physical training as part of the program. This aspect will be addressed weekly by setting up obstacle courses, and executing rigorous training plans.  A pre-assessment will be given to students at the beginning of the semester to measure their entry fitness levels, and monthly assessments will continue throughout the year. Some of the physical ability test requirements a student should be able to attain are:

  • Aerobic fitness- 500 yard run within 2 minutes;
  • Agility Run - Run a 90-yard agility course in 21.1seconds;
  • Body Drag - Lift and drag a 165-pound lifelike dummy 32 feet;
  • Chain Link Fence Climb - Run 5 yards to a 6-foot chain link fence, climb over and continue to run another 25 yards in 11.2 seconds;  
  • Solid Fence Climb- Run 5 yards to a 6-foot solid wall and continue running another 25         yards in 11.9 seconds.
  • Sit ups and pushups - As many as possible while using proper form in 60 seconds

With assigned days dedicated to aerobic and strength training through a variety of different exercises and team building activities, students will be able to reach their goals. Written and informal oral tests reviewing general principles of exercise will be administered periodically to reinforce fundamental knowledge needed to have a better awareness of one’s own physical health.

In addition to physical skills, students will learn the terminology and techniques of stress management that can lead to better mental wellness.  Due to the stressful nature of police work, stress management and mental wellness are essential for potential candidates.

Students will also be required to participate in a rigorous training course that will include self-defense and subduing and restraining an assailant.  The physical training that will occur in this course will be vigorous, simulating the training they would receive in the academy as closely as possible.

  1. Students keep a fitness log to monitor progress of fitness requirements throughout the entire year, which will be included with the final project that will include a reflection on their performances throughout the course. Part of this reflection will incorporate SMART goals for performance so that students will be motivated to improve their performance.  Video evidence of the students final fitness tests will be recorded with on screen time overlays as proof of the students performance. (Students can include this video and their fitness logs in their portfolio when interviewing for academies or their final project.)
  2. Students will explore through research the different strategies of coping with the stressors within their lives to gain an understanding of how law enforcement professionals deal with the day-to-day stress of their jobs.  Students will also explore the Five Stages of Grief, and discuss how to cope with each. Students will create a presentation, either by a skit, illustration, multimedia presentation or writing piece to express how they plan to deal with the stress and emotions they may experience within their professional and personal lives.  This reflective piece will also be included in the presentation the students will do in the next assignment.
  3. Based on research, students will create a meal plan project that will demonstrate knowledge of proper nutrition and recovery to achieve the high demands placed on the body during training and performance.  This would include, but not be limited to, a written meal plan to satisfy the caloric needs of each individual student, with a demonstration of how the caloric needs could be manipulated to achieve the desired result such as losing weight or gaining weight as needed.  Students will then create an informational pamphlet to communicate what they have learned about nutrition, mental and physical health and wellness, which will be presented and taught to a younger student audience. Students will use the knowledge gained in this unit to teach the importance of proper nutrition and its relation to fitness.
  4. Students perform physical demonstrations of self-defense and assailant restraint techniques as taught by community members, who include self-defense experts/instructors and law enforcement officials.

Unit 4 : Report Writing

Students will learn how to document information clearly and concisely to encompass their observations and actions at a crime scene. This is an integral part of investigation because all activities conducted and all observations made at a crime scene after an event must be documented as soon as possible to preserve the information. Students will be instructed on how to document their observations of a crime scene, to include the location of persons and items within the crime scene, and the appearance and condition of the scene upon arrival. The instructor will stress the importance of details and accuracy of these reports and their importance in the court of law.  Students will also have the opportunity to experience these processes first-hand through a ride-along with local law enforcement where they will get to witness the way an investigation is conducted and communication language involved by law enforcement professionals.

  1. After researching how to write crime scene reports, students will apply their knowledge at a mock crime scene. Students will write a report for each of the crime scene investigations they conduct.  he teacher will read a description of a crime scene, show a video or set up a mock scene on campus. Crime scene(s) would include the following: robbery, burglary, theft, vehicle theft, battery, vandalism. Examples of crime scene can be found at Diagnostic Forensic Solutions. The students will ask questions of witnesses, take pictures, notes and fill out a complete report detailing the event. After students have filled out the report other students will critique each other’s reports, paying particular attention to detail and evaluation of data.
  2. Students will be given the opportunity to do a ride along with local agencies (Police, CHP, Sheriff, etc). Students will be required to ride along with an officer for a 6-8 hour shift. During this time students will observe what a typical day looks like for an officer and take notes of incidents that occur and the actions taken by the officer.  Students will create a series of questions to be asked during the ride along, the questions should include some of the following the: What type of laws were violated in each case, Why certain actions were taken ( Arrest or Citation), What are the most common and unusual criminal law violations, have they ever faced any life threatening situations and how did they deal with it. In class students will do an oral presentation to the class about their experience being sure to detail situations that arose and how the officer handled it. Students will need to research Penal code / vehicle code violations that occurred and the officers response.  After their oral presentation classmates will ask question of the students.
  3. Students will learn and show understanding of California Police Radio 10 codes. Each student will be given several opportunities to use the class Two Way radio.  Instructor will give a verbal test in which students will have to Answer Radio transmissions, using the proper 10 code. The codes to practice are 10-7, Out of Service; 10-8, In-service; 10-20,  Location; 10-21, Telephone; 10-97, Arrived on the Scene; 10-98, Available for assignment.

Unit 5 : First Aid and Emergency Response

Students will become proficient in Red Cross First Aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) training, and certification which meets the needs of law enforcement first responders. Students will learn about blood borne pathogens and how they are spread, along with being able to protect oneself from exposure.  Students will earn a certificate of completion from American Red Cross, and this document will be kept in their ongoing portfolio.

  1. Students will write Cornell notes on a powerpoint presentation on C.P.R. & First Aid from American Red Cross. Students will create a poster illustrating the proper steps they should take to address different situations and the emergency care they may provide.  Steps to be addressed may include Check-Call-Care, assessing the environment, assessing the victim, and providing care for the victim. These posters will be placed around high traffic areas on campus to educate the entire student body.
  2. Students will be placed in hypothetical scenarios  where they need to assess a situation and respond appropriately to safely treat their patient.  This situation may include dragging a patient (i.e. a weighted dummy or mannequin) from a dangerous situation to simulate the providing of care.  Students will provide a physical demonstration of the knowledge gained during this unit. Other students observing will help by critiquing students performance of skills, to improve for the future. Industry professionals, to include law enforcement and E.M.S. personnel, will be invited to assist with evaluating students on this performance  task.
  3. Students will be tested and perform CPR, AED and First Aid on peers and mannequins in practical scenarios.

Unit 6 : Criminal Law Codes

Students will be introduced to the different California Crime Code Categories and the laws within those categories that are applicable to crime. Examples to include California laws from the Penal Code, Vehicle Code, Health & Safety Code, Fish & Game Code, etc. Students will understand the elements of laws that are applicable to Crimes Against Persons (i.e. murder, robbery, sexual assault, child abuse, etc.), Crimes Against Property (i.e. burglary, theft, vandalism, etc.), and Crimes Against Society (i.e. possession of controlled substances, gambling, prostitution, animal cruelty, etc.) Students will learn about law classifications (infraction, misdemeanor, or felony) and how the law classifications affect punishment.  As a final project, students will participate in scenarios where they will determine what law(s) have been violated in hypothetical crime scenes. Students will build upon the knowledge gained in previous units, to include Constitutional Law and Report Writing.

  1. Students will do the following:
    1. Students will be assigned random law codes to research on the website California Legislative Information Website. Students will document their law and then write a short example of the violation of their researched laws. Based on personal beliefs/opinions and current events, students will recommend elements of their assigned laws that they would change, and why. The change can include classification of the law (changing the law to an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony, and thereby changing the overall punishment for violating the law).  
    2. Students will research their assigned laws to create a multimedia presentation that reflects their research and proposed changes.  The research should include the history of how the law was established, other relevant circumstances that lead to the law, amendments since it began, and violations for breaking the law.  
    3. In a town hall setting, presenters will present to the student audience their multimedia presentation that reflects what they learned about their assigned laws as well as their proposed changes. Assigned audience members will then ask questions of each presenter. Each presenter must answer at least one (1) question from two (2) different student audience members. The questions must be relevant to the laws that were presented or the recommended change the presenter would make to their law. The teacher will assign the students that will ask a question to each presenter; the students in the audience are responsible for thinking of questions to ask. Each student in the audience will be responsible for asking, at least one (1) question to at least two (2) different student presenters (1 question to each of their assigned student presenters). The individual presenters will be assessed on their presentation, including their recommended change they would make to their law and how their presentation represents their chosen law. The students in the audience will be assessed on the questions they ask the presenter and their overall attentiveness during the presentations.
    4. At the conclusion of this assignment, students will complete an Op-Ed writing assignment to their local congressman. Students incorporate the research they completed of their assigned laws and anything relevant they learned from the town hall discussion and will justify in their Op-Ed the changes they recommended during their presentations.  
  2. Students will participate in role play scenarios that are designed around the laws they have been learning. These scenarios will be graded by industry professionals (i.e. local law enforcement officers).  Example scenarios would be traffic violation stop, possession of a substance, etc. Students will determine what laws have been violated. In these scenarios, students will write reports that accurately and completely describe their scenario and what laws have been violated. Their reports will include the text of the law(s) that were violated; a description of the illegal act that occurred, answering who, what, where, when, how and why; what evidence they located and collected; what questions were asked of the perpetrators; and what actions they would take at the conclusion of their investigation.
  3. Students will complete a full Peace Officer Personal History Statement  (Law Enforcement Background packet). Law Enforcement agencies have stated that they cannot find qualified candidates to fill positions.  This will allow students to have a better understanding as to what is and will be required of them. Students will be introduced to the testing phases of a peace officer candidate, which includes an Oral interview; a Medical examination; a Polygraph examination; and a Psychological exam with questions and situations posed to applicants. Website: Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (This packet will be included in the final portfolio.)

Course Materials

Unit 1
Title: Police Organization & Ethics 
Resource: P.O.S.T. Learning Domain book L.D. 01

Ethics Training: Using Officers Dilemmas

Unit 2
Title: Constitutional Law
U.S. Supreme Court cases 

Unit 3
Title: Candidate Physical Ability Test 

Title: SMART Goals 

Title: Healthy Eating Planner 

Title:Stress Factsheet  

Title: Physical Activity Journal 
Physical Activity Journal 
Five Things Youd Should Know About Stress 

Unit 4
Title: Crime Scene Investigation, US Dept of Justice 
Crime Scene Investigation  

Title: Diagnostic Forensic Solutions
Diagnostic Forensic Solutions 

Unit 5
Title: Red Cross Instructor Training
Red Cross Instructor Training 

Unit 6
Title: California Legislative Information 
California Legislative Information  

Title: Personal History Statement (Background Packet)
Personal History Statement click on “Personal History Statement Peace Officer” under the FORMS heading.)

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