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Press Release

Police and Prosecutors Join Students for a Day of Learning

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

BLAST (Building Lasting Relationships Between Police and Community) Program

Brings Law Enforcement and Communities Together


TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, together with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County High School, will present a BLAST Program event on Monday to approximately 50 students.


BLAST Program

Madison County High School

2649 US 90 West
Madison, FL 32340

Date: Monday, April 3, 2017

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST
Press: Please RSVP to Amy Alexander at if you plan to attend.


United States Attorney Christopher P. Canova said: “The BLAST initiative was created by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide a forum to exchange information about officer risks and citizen viewpoints. Sharing these perspectives encourages safe interactions between citizens and officers to improve our community.”


Madison County Sheriff Benjamin Stewart said: “The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is committed to building relationships with other law enforcement agencies and with citizens to protect and serve our community. I commend the continued hard work of our law enforcement professionals in accomplishing this mission.”


Dr. Karen Pickles, Madison County Superintendent of Schools, said: “I am excited to welcome the various federal, state, and local agencies participating in the BLAST event at Madison County High School. Our law enforcement play a crucial part in our society today. It is important to showcase their skills, provide an understanding, and promote awareness to youth and the community. This event is only a small step in addressing safety in a variety of situations students may experience and a way to promote law enforcement officers in a positive manner and as a safe haven.”


The BLAST Program offers students an opportunity to meet representatives of the criminal justice community and ask them questions, share their perceptions of law enforcement, and interact with officers in a familiar setting. Officers also provide students with their perspective on responding to dangerous or uncertain circumstances and the importance of remaining calm and following the officers’ directions in these situations.

The schedule will include the following discussion sessions, during which students will have a chance to participate in role play with law enforcement officers.


  • Criminal Justice Overview: Students will learn about each phase of a federal criminal case, including investigation, prosecution, and sentencing.

    This session is open to the media and public, and videography and photography is permitted.

  • Domestic Violence: Students will participate in a scenario in which police respond to a domestic disturbance. Discussion includes the challenges officers face, rights of witnesses and suspects, and benefits of providing information to the police.

    This session is open to the media and public, and videography and photography is permitted.

  • Traffic Stop Simulation: Participants and officers alternate playing the roles of civilians and officers in a traffic stop. Discussion includes de-escalation and the uncertainty officers and vehicle occupants face during a traffic stop.
    This session is open to the media and public, and videography and photography is permitted.

  • Use of Force: Facilitators and students will discuss when law enforcement officers may use force and an officer’s reaction time when confronted with a life-threatening situation.

    This session is closed to the media and public. Reporters may try the simulator equipment after the event ends.


Participating agencies include:

  • United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida

  • Madison County Sheriff’s Office

  • Madison County High School

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  • Drug Enforcement Administration

  • FAMU Police Department


The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer

(850) 216-3854,

Updated March 31, 2017

Community Outreach