Hailey Robideau is not only a 2017 graduate of Troy High School and the Criminal Justice program at the Rensselaer Educational Center, but she’s also the newest dispatcher for the Town of North Greenbush Police Department.
At REC, Hailey was a member of Skills USA and qualified for the National Technical Honor Society both years. Now in addition to working as a dispatcher for the Town of North Greenbush Police Department, Hailey attends college full-time, continues to be active in the Troy Police Cadet Post, and works a part-time job at a restaurant in Lansingburgh.
Hailey was first introduced to North Greenbush PD through her senior work-based learning internship where she was placed working with an officer in the dispatch center. Work-based learning internships are a part of every Career & Technical Education (CTE) program and give students unique opportunities to experience their career field in action. Hailey impressed the police department staff as well as Chief Robert Durivage.
After her internship, the officer she worked with encouraged her to apply to be a dispatcher at the department. She said she was unsure at first, but ultimately decided to apply. She was hired in August.
Hailey says she signed up for the Criminal Justice program because she loved watching TV crime dramas and wanted to go into the field to help people. While she admits the field is nothing like it is on television, that hasn’t curbed her desire to help others.
“I’m only 18, and you can’t be an officer until you’re 21. I plan to stay dispatching, getting my foot in the door and understanding the process that the officers do and the dispatchers. Hopefully I’ll get hired [as an officer] through North Greenbush,” she says.
Part of the Criminal Justice program at REC includes the opportunity for students to earn their Public Safety Telecommunicator I certification, the initial certification needed to serve as a dispatcher. Criminal Justice teacher Amy Gillett earned her certification to teach the Public Safety Telecommunicator certification last year – and Hailey’s class was the first to be able to earn the credential.
“The 911 simulator in Ms. Gillett’s class is identical to what I use at North Greenbush. We spent a lot of time on that system.”
Hailey is also enrolled at Schenectady County Community College pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. She says it’s difficult, but says the Criminal Justice program prepared her for the rigorous coursework.
The program also gave her the chance to earn college credit while still in high school.
Hailey also praised Ms. Gillett and credited much of her success to her teacher.
“She’s the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. I definitely look up to her as a person. She’s not just a teacher, she’s above and beyond a teacher. She does everything you could imagine for you as long as you’re willing to put yourself out there.”