Little Rock Job Corps’ Security and Safety Officer Program Spotlight

Little Rock’s highly successful career training program is producing Certified Protection Officers (CPOs) ready for today’s workforce.

Little Rock Job Corps’ Security and Safety Officer Program

Security and Safety Officer Program

In June 2009, Little Rock Job Corps saw a need to begin a new program at their center, and Thelma Dixon filled it.  After 22 years in the United States Army and teaching in the Army ROTC program in a Macon, Georgia high school, Ms. Dixon needed a change.  The new Security and Safety Officer Program at Little Rock Job Corps was the answer.  As the instructor of this program, her job is to prepare young students for a successful career as a security officer or as an employee of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.


Since the program’s inception in 2009, it has become a top performer in its trade: most students already have security jobs lined up when they complete the program.  “It is a blessing to be able to get students in jobs before they even leave the program,” Dixon states.  “Companies say my students come in ready to go.  They do not need additional training before beginning the job,” she continued.  This success is due to the competitive program Thelma Dixon runs.  She must produce at least 3 completers a month.  The program typically takes 4-6 months to complete, and students must finish 2 lessons a week to stay on track.

Thelma combines visuals, such as presentations and notes from professionals in the security field, with independent study and lecture from the International Foundation of Protection Officers’ (IFPO) Professional Protection Officer Training Manual (8th Edition).  Students then take the online Certified Protection Officer (CPO) Certification Exam offered through High Impact Training Solutions (HITS). Successful candidates are then certified through the IFPO.   Throughout the program, students also get hands-on training with the use of “mock crime scenes” and practice writing incident reports.  “The curriculum is in line with the test, and both do an excellent job of preparing the students for the job,” Dixon states.

Expectations … Success

Another aspect of the program that helps produce quality students is the level of professionalism expected by Thelma.  Students must wear uniforms to class each day and must keep a neat appearance and haircut.  This professionalism is evident to the public as well.  “When we help in the community, most people think my students are already security officers,” states Dixon.

The success of Ms. Dixon’s program is evident in the achievements of her former students.  Many are frequently recognized in company newsletters for their accomplishments and are continuing to move up the chain of success.  One such example is Thomas Steadman, a former student now employed by Central Defense.  “The Job Corps program has been a blessing to me.  It took me to a higher level in my field,” Thomas states.  Not only does this program prepare students for a job, it also prepares them for life.  “It teaches you responsibility, dependability, and reliability,” said Steadman.  Thomas also praises Thelma Dixon for his success.  “She is a great instructor.  You really grasp what she is saying.  She does her job and prepares you for a career,” he states.


Job Corps is an educational and vocational program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that prepares at-risk students for successful careers.  Thelma Dixon is definitely doing just that.  Through her classroom and practical based learning experiences, students are leaving her program prepared for today’s workforce.

Posted in Press Releases by sonictemple at October 9th, 2014.
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