Interesting Experiences of a Criminal Justice Student

CJSW-BA-campaign-913x513.jpgInterested in criminal justice? Our sQoolink mentor, Stephanie Singh, a former student from Remington College, shares her most interesting experiences as a criminal justice student. As a criminal justice student, Stephanie reenacted various scenarios with her professor and classmates to gain first hand experience. From this, the writer believes that acting out the scenario as opposed to learning from a textbook has made her experiences far more memorable.

Everyone has different experiences in school. These experiences has the potential to make or break one’s academic life. For my Associates Degree I went to a liberal arts school called Remington College in Tampa Florida. It had been many years since I had been to school so that in itself caused my nervousness. I quickly realized that this is not what I expected. There were so many interesting experiences that were gained from this school.

I was in the Criminal Justice program and the faculty did more than just lecture. They had all the students get involved in scenarios. The goal was for the students to understand first-hand what law enforcement and security personnel had to go through on a daily basis. For example, there was one scenario where we reenacted traffic stops. It was what not to do versus what should be done type of situation. There were and have been a lot of police officers that were being killed in traffic stops. The idea was to show the students how a typical traffic stop is done.

There would be a car that was provided and we would alternate between being the officer and the perpetrator. They taught us how to approach a vehicle for a routine traffic stop. There was always the possibility that there would be hostile occupants and erring on the side of caution could mean the difference between life and death.

Another scenario that we learned was separating witnesses or victim/culprit and keeping spectators out of the crime scene that was being processed. Accomplishing this proved a lot more difficult than one would think. Perception is everything and witnesses’ interpretation proves this. It is very interesting that two people could observe the same situation and have differing views on the perpetrator or what happened.

In domestic violence cases as with any other type of crime the victims may choose to not press charges against their assailant. We learned that sometimes an officer would be called about a domestic disturbance and the victim would become hostile towards the officer, insisting that it was all a misunderstanding. This could prove to be a dangerous situation. Officers never know what they will be walking into and for this reason, we were taught that being vigilant of surroundings was the most important thing when responding to any type of situation.

As with most higher learning institutions there are guest speakers. Typically guest speakers explain what their job entails and the class asks questions. However, what if part of your grade was based on how well you interview in front of a panel of the different branches of law enforcement officers. Pretty much some of the guest speakers with a few new ones thrown in. The interview process is difficult and nerve wracking in itself and to throw in FBI, ATF and police officers into the mix made it a lot more interesting and nail biting.

The concept of this interviewing process was for the students who had plans to join the police academy or the varied other law enforcement divisions. The faculty views were if you could interview well in front of all these officers then you could master an interview in a “regular” workplace.

In conclusion, these interesting experiences influence and can sometimes change an individual’s views on academia. Not every student will learn through lectures and tests. These hands on scenarios will make the learning experience fun and will also provide a simulated version of what the world of law enforcement entails.

From personal experience I can honestly say that it definitely changed my views. It’s more than just getting pulled over or having your tags ran. It was about trying to restrain hostile victims or assailants, maybe ensure that their crime scenes weren’t contaminated by overzealous spectators. There are a lot of horrors and heartbreak that officers deal with daily, they have to go to each scene with a “fresh slate”. Most importantly, they’re trying to their duty to the best of their abilities and make it home to their families.

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