Criminal Justice Club Prepares Students for a Possible Future in Law Enforcement


Neil Corbett

Sophomore Jacob Ramsey, Sergeant of the Criminal Justice Club, represented the group at the Azle ISD Showcase March 10.

Azle High School has many extracurricular activities and clubs that students can join, and while some are more well known than others, there are a variety of opportunities for these students to choose from. One of which is the Criminal Justice Club, run by Officer Steven Stutsman. Officer Stutsman leads this club and also teaches Law Enforcement, Principles of Law and Criminal Justice.

Criminal Justice Club wasn’t founded by Officer Stutsman, but he has continued to run it for high school students since he was hired for the 2019-2020 school year.

“The club was going when I got here,” Officer Stutsman said. “They started it because the Azle PD used to have an explorer’s club, but they disbanded it. They started this up, so we could still have something for students to be able to do law enforcement techniques and tactics.”

The club competes with a format similar to other extracurriculars at AHS, with state competition being the goal.

“For our regional competition, there are thirteen schools, and they take the top three,” Stutsman said. “We have teams that are going this year for competition; we have a S.W.A.T. team, building search, traffic stop, felony traffic stop, and one that’s going to be doing fingerprint analysis.”

Criminal Justice Club has a law enforcement-like structure, with a captain leading the group, followed by a lieutenant, sergeant and a corporal.

“I just tell people what to do,” senior Captain Zach Harris said. “Basically how to train and what to train. I did it last year, and I thought it was fun.”

Officer Stutsman is looking forward to this year’s competition ever since the club was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first year since COVID that they’re actually doing the competition again,” Stutsman said. “We have one this April 5, that we were supposed to have when we got our first big ice storm. It’s a lot of fun for the kids.”