Learning police work at crime camp

NEW HAVEN, Conn, (WTNH) — They are the crime fighters of the future. Every summer, Albertus Magnus College invites high school students interested in law enforcement to come see what it’s really like, not like it is on TV.

“Had interest in being cops, I watch the shows, so I thought it was pretty cool,” sophomore Justin Lent said.

Now he knows that all those crimes are not actually solved in 60 minutes. “Yes, I have realized that,” he said.

LINK: Albertus Magnus Criminal Justice Camp

“Sometimes from watching TV you think the case may be solved within 30 minutes,” state police Trooper First Class James Scott said, “but when they get to talk to some of the practitioners that are here, they realize there’s a lot of work that’s involved in a thorough investigation.”

High school students learn about law enforcement careers like the bomb squad at Albertus Magnus College, June 25, 2014. (WTNH / Kent Pierce)
High school students learn about law enforcement careers like the bomb squad at Albertus Magnus College, June 25, 2014. (WTNH / Kent Pierce)

That’s why the college’s criminal justice program has these sessions, to show teens that solving crime is about hard work, not glamour. What they want to do is encourage kids with lots of different interests to go into law enforcement. For instance, if you like taking pictures, you can be a crime scene photographer. If you like to swim, you can be on the dive team. But whatever you want to do, you’ve got to stay in school and get decent grades.

“There’s uniform units, there are crime scene units, there’s detective units, there are supervisors,” Prof. Michael Geary, Albertus Magnus College, said. “Everybody has a job to do. Everybody has a master’s degree and everybody’s gone through many years of school.”

Because you can’t have just anyone running the bomb squad robot. And when everybody hears about the work involved, they can make informed decisions about their future careers.

“We get some students who say this is not what I envisioned doing for the rest of my life, but the majority of them appreciate the knowledge,” Albertus Magnus Director of Admission Nilvio Perez said.

“I feel like knowledge is just a better background to have to get an idea of where I really want to fit into later,” Seymour High School Sophomore Charlotte Garguilo said.

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