BC holds public safety career expo

Todd Banker, Reporter

Bakersfield College held a Public Safety Career Expo on Oct. 10. The expo consisted of 65 local, state, and federal agencies. The event was crowded with students, faculty and agency personnel.

Bakersfield College Criminal Justice and Behavioral Science Professor Patricia M. Smith said the expo helps students answer questions regarding public agencies and their educational requirements.

“This is a spectacular event,” Smith said. “I started my career out of BC too. I was a student here and I got hired at probation when I was a sophomore.”

According to Smith, there are a lot of jobs to do in the law enforcement business. Smith worked in law enforcement for 30 years as a probation officer and has also worked in jails and for mental health Services. 

Agencies brought vehicles and equipment to the expo such as a Kern County Sheriff helicopter, a National Guard armored vehicle, and local agencies displayed SWAT vehicles. At noon, the California Highway Patrol did a fly-over in a helicopter.   

Each agency had personnel who were prepared to talk about important factors regarding the hiring process.

According to Smith, some agencies were able to recruit students as well. Some agencies require as little as a GED when others require an associate’s or even a bachelor’s degree.

Criminal justice, medical, or fire science degrees may be the degree of choice for students interested in public safety and law enforcement – but some agencies are not requiring students to have specific degrees.

According to FBI Special Agent Michael Bengtson, the FBI doesn’t only accept criminal justice majors. They have social workers and doctors, lawyers, and CPA’s. Bengston says the FBI accepts diversity- they don’t want everybody to think the same.

Law enforcement, medical emergency, and fire agencies were not the only agencies present at the expo. The military was also present.

Recruiters from all branches of the military were available for students to talk with.

Sergeant First Class Everett J. Enstine of the United States Army said “the biggest thing we talk about is what the Army is and what it provides.”

According to Enstine the army is a means to an end, it’s a means to get you where you want to be.

Enstine also said the army can provide experience that agencies at the expo would like to see on a resume.

BC student Jasmine Candela, a criminal justice major, said, “I thought it was really fun. I got to see all the different things they have here. I’m in criminal justice but I still don’t know what I want to do. Seeing the different agencies, it showed me what I can do.”

BC student Cynthia Sanchez, a nursing major, said “It was pretty interesting honestly.”

According to Sanchez, she was interested in some of the booths at the expo after seeing all of the careers available.