In a world where career choices seem abundant but clarity often feels scarce, finding the right path after high school can be daunting. But what if there was a way to jumpstart your career at the age of 18, with great benefits and a path with a clear trajectory? At the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, high schoolers are not just welcomed, but actively encouraged to explore the opportunities awaiting them in the world of law enforcement after graduation.

Sgt. Dan Rusinyak, recruiter at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, sheds light on the strategies and motivations behind their high school student recruitment efforts. Here’s a glimpse into key insights he shares with potential job candidates and the wider community to reassure LCSD is a place of opportunity.

Diverse Recruitment Platforms: 

Rusinyak highlights the array of recruitment events tailored for high schoolers, ranging from traditional career fairs to personalized job shadowing opportunities.

In February 2024, LCSD hosted one of its largest job shadowing experiences with more than 70 students from local Lexington County high schools.

Rusinyak also shares LCSD is participating in an upcoming recruitment event at Segra Park sponsored by the Midlands Education Business Alliance (MEBA), where high school students can learn more about law enforcement career opportunities and the hiring pipeline. 

These events not only introduce students to the realities of law enforcement but also pave the way for potential internships, offering a hands-on preview of what their future careers could look like.

Building Relationships at Events: 

One of the most significant advantages of recruitment events, according to Rusinyak, is the opportunity for face-to-face interaction. 

“It allows us to create that dialogue with them and to see how they view law enforcement and corrections because there are a lot of misconceptions out there. We can put to ease a lot of those negative ones and give them a very transparent view of what kind of agency we are,” Rusinyak says.

Having the chance to dispel myths about law enforcement and offer transparent insights into the agency’s culture and benefits builds strong foundational relationships that allow recruiters to forge meaningful connections with prospective candidates.

Pitching the Possibilities: 

At these events, Rusinyak emphasizes the tangible benefits of joining the LCSD ranks. From competitive salaries to comprehensive health care and a generous retirement plan, he paints a picture of stability and opportunity. He stresses the career progression available within the agency, providing a clear roadmap for advancement from day one.

Seizing Opportunities at 18: 

Thanks to recent legislative changes, high school graduates can enter the public safety workforce directly, bypassing the conventional wait until the age of 21. 

Rusinyak highlights “the groundbreaking opportunity for 18-year-olds to kick start their careers in law enforcement is a game-changer, offering young adults a chance to secure their future early on and retire comfortably after a fulfilling career.”

Empowering Young Minds: 

Rusinyak’s message to those on the cusp of adulthood is simple yet profound: seize the opportunity to shape your future now. He challenges the notion of aimless waiting and instead advocates for proactive career planning. By starting early, individuals can not only secure stable employment but also lay the groundwork for a fulfilling and rewarding career in public safety.

“This is a huge positive for anyone whose minds are not made up with what they want to do in terms of a career. Again, this is a career, this is not just a job. Working at LCSD is something you can build on. If your mentality is for you to go on the road, operation side or fugitive task force, then you can do this and use it as a launching pad,” Rusinyak explains.

Looking Ahead: 

As recruitment efforts continue to evolve, Rusinyak envisions a future where more young adults embrace the prospect of a career in law enforcement. With increased job shadowing opportunities, a thriving intern program and ongoing outreach initiatives, the agency aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their future.

In essence, the recruitment efforts spearheaded by Rusinyak offer more than just job opportunities; they provide a pathway to purpose and fulfillment for high schoolers navigating the waters of post-graduation life. By opening doors and igniting passions, they pave the way for a new generation of public safety professionals ready to serve their communities with pride and dedication. 

So, to all the 18 year olds out there, why wait? Your future starts now. If you are passionate about making a positive impact, consider applying today to join LCSD.