Criminal justice camp for high school students

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Future criminal justice professionals spent the day learning the ropes in New Haven. High school students found out what it’s like to be part of law enforcement at the 8th annual Criminal Justice Camp at Albertus Magnus College.

Jared Thayer of West Haven said he was learning about, “Public safety. Not getting pulled over, basically. Wear your seat belt.”

“We get about 100 students that register and they get to rotate through the various stations here,” said. Sgt. James Scott of the Connecticut State Police. “We have representatives from all different organizations here: State police, local police departments, federal agencies, as well as various branches of the military.”

In the news business, we see the State Police Major Crime Squad truck all the time. It spends hours parked at crime scenes while investigators gather evidence. Some of the high school students at Criminal Justice Camp might have the wrong idea about the investigative process from what they’ve seen on TV.

“A lot of them think that crimes get wrapped up in a 35-60 minute period and that’s not really the case,” said Dr. Jay Lawrie of Albertus Magnus College. “It takes a lot of work, a lot of preparation, a lot of details go into it.”

That attention to detail may be the most important thing, whether you’re putting on an 80 pound suit to defuse a bomb, or gathering evidence at a crime scene.

“I’d either like to do U.S. Marshals or FBI,” said Brian Dec, a student from Colchester. “I’m interested a lot in law enforcement, and I figured I’d go federal.”

Then he should keep in mind the advice from Dr. Lawrie: “A lot of information has to be reported accurately in specific detail. Take the time, analyze things, make sure you cover those things and are as specific as possible.”

In 8 years of this event at Albertus Magnus, that advice has led a bunch of high schoolers to careers in criminal justice.

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