| Source: Telegraph Staff Report |
COLLINSVILLE - Not all rams can be found on the football field.
This month, the Illinois State Police received two battering rams fabricated by students of the Collinsville Area Vocational Center.
The battering rams will be used by officers of the Working Against Violent Elements, the so-called WAVE task force, which will use them to gain entry into fortified structures during the execution of court-authorized search warrants.
WAVE is a multi-agency task force consisting of investigators from the Illinois State Police, Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois, East St. Louis Police Department, FBI and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The WAVE unit was initiated two years ago to combat violent crime in the Metro East.
Mark Anderson, director of the Vocational Center, said the goal of the center is to give students advanced high school training in several fields. After successfully completing a two-year program the students can enter advanced training in colleges/trades schools or enter directly into the workforce.
Many programs have a dual credit agreement with Southwestern Illinois Community College, which means the students earn college credit for successful completion of the programs.
Students within the precision machining, welding and auto body classes recently teamed up to construct the two custom rams, which were donated to the Illinois State Police. The students accepted the challenge, taking the idea and creating custom rams for real world application, Anderson said.
The Collinsville Area Vocational Center offers areas of study that include web and graphic design, computer networking, auto body, auto mechanics, computer drafting, electronics, precision machining, welding, child and daycare services, food services, clinical health occupations, emergency health occupations and criminal justice.