By Tamas Mondovics

In response to an unquestionable interest on the part of its student body, Newsome High School is now offering a four-year program that according to school officials and teachers could not have come at a better time.

“With all of the tragic events involving law enforcement officers across the nation, better understanding and communication between officers and members of the community is vital,” said retired Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Lieutenant Carlos Somellan, who is now teaching the program at Newsome High. “The Criminal Justice Program offered to our students here at Newsome High is as timely and beneficial as ever.”

Somellan, who is routinely assisted by Newsome High School Resource Deputy Mike Alonso, proudly said that the available space for the program filled up quickly and is now serving as many students as the school has room for.

“The kids did not hesitate to respond to take part of the new course,” said Somellan, himself a former school resource deputy who has served the Sheriff’s Office for 30 years.
Somellan added, “Three months into the program and the kids love it.”

As it is the case in most high schools, the program gives students an opportunity to study constitutional law, court procedures, crime scene investigation, forensic science, international law, criminal law, and the techniques involved in field work such as fingerprinting and photographing for evidence collection just to name a few.

“It is very much a hands-on program, which helps the students to get a better perspective of what law enforcement officers go through on a daily basis and what the job is really all about,” he said. “In just a short time, I have seen a tremendous change in my student’s views of law enforcement officers.”
“Similar to the ROTC programs, criminal justice gives the students a better opportunity to learn the basics of law enforcement as well as to purse and find employment with the Sheriff’s Office,” Alonso said. Both deputies, Somellan and Alonso spoke highly of the Newsome administration’s support of the new program, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and its hard working deputies.

For more info, visit Newsome High School, please visit

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