Criminal Justice Program Earns Honors

Five students, faculty member win regional acclaim

Criminal justice students and faculty from Central Methodist University proved they know what's right, bringing home several awards from the Region 3 conference of the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA).

The ACJA Lambda Alpha Epsilon event was held Oct. 17-20 in Garden City, Kan. The region includes Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and over 120 people participated this year. The conference includes not only college and university students, but current and former criminal justice and law enforcement professionals.

Perhaps the most impressive CMU achievement was its first place finish in the Crime Scene Investigation category, Professional Division. Comprised of competitors who are professional investigators and detectives, CMU Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Teri Haack and two student teammates brought home the top prize. The students are Briana Kirkland, a senior criminal justice major from Bullard, Texas, and sophomore Alyssa Webb, a criminal justice major from Grain Valley.

In the Crime Scene Investigation, Upper Division, a three-student team from CMU placed second. Students were Hannah Mackey, junior criminal justice major from Montgomery City; Alexandria Fesler Martin, sophomore criminal justice major from Bevier; and Morgan Windmiller, senior psychology and criminal justice major from Louisiana. The Upper Division includes college students with 60 or more credit hours.

Briana Kirkland also earned individual honors by placing third in the Physical Agility competition for females between the ages of 18-24.

In addition to the competitions, students attended specialized workshops which included S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons And Tactics) Training, Anatomy and Fingerprint Labs, Interview and Interrogation, Firearms Training Simulator, and Moulage Recreation.

"All of these individuals are exemplary students and worked long hours to prepare for these competitions," noted Teri Haack. "Many of them are first time competitors and I am extremely proud of the way they represented Central Methodist University."

Prof. Haack was unanimously elected Vice President of AJCA Lambda Alpha Epsilon Region 3 for 2013-14.

The CMU competitors will now advance to the AJCA national conference and competition, to be held next March in Overland Park, Kan.


Posted October 31, 2013