NIAGARA/ORLEANS – Lieutenant Todd Draper of the Medina Police Department says the department has always enjoyed their relationship with Orleans/Niagara BOCES. Lt. Draper currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Security and Law Enforcement Program at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center (OCTEC), the Auto Body Program and the Welding Program have been helping the Police Department with projects to assist in their mission.

“The OCTEC principal Mike Mann has been terrific to work with and so have the teachers,” said Lt. Draper. “They have helped us with safety planning and allowing us to tour the building. Auto Body teacher Tom Struebing and his class are converting a Brinks truck into a command vehicle, which we can share with the Medina Fire Department. Now the Welding Program, taught by Eric Farrell and Ron Jackson, is helping with making steel targets for the police to use for our firearm training.”

Lt. Draper says the targets will make the training for the police officers more exciting. “There is something very satisfying hearing that “clang” when you are at the range. It helps to mix the training up and make it more realistic since they will show the upper torso and head, and there are also targets that represent hostages or good people. We think we will get a lot of positive response from our officers using these instead of paper targets.”

Three junior welding students: Brayden James, Noah Poler and Dillion Wagner were assigned the project. “It is pretty cool to be helping the community with the skills we are learning here,” says Brayden. “I really enjoyed this project,” says Dillion. “It’s rewarding, we actually get to build something and help the police department.”

Lt. Draper has stopped in to the class to see their progress. He says he enjoys his time with the students as they tell him what equipment and techniques they have used to make the firearm targets. “It has been very beneficial to us. We are a small department and our budget is not the largest. The targets are very expensive to buy, so having the class help us has been gratifying and beneficial for all of us.”

Lt. Draper says he and the Medina Police Department would like to extend their thanks to the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center for all their time and energy. “We truly appreciate all the effort the students and teachers have put in to helping out the department. On a personal note, I really enjoy talking to the students and seeing their excitement in showing me what they have accomplished. It is great to see the sense of pride they have in their work.”

FEATURE PHOTO (1): Brayden James (Niagara Academy), Lt. Todd Draper, Noah Poler (Lyndonville) and teacher Ron Jackson stand next to the newly welded targets.

FEATURE PHOTO (2): A Medina Police vehicle sits next to a welded target with separate plates to hit.