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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Criminal Justice offered at Oak Creek Campus

Criminal Justice offered at Oak Creek Campus
Photo by Jim Nance/Times

The Criminal Justice program is an associate degree program in which a student has three years to complete the degree from the first criminal justice course they ever take.
There are two different police academies-one full-time and one part-time.
The full-time academy takes 16 weeks and once the students graduate they become certifiable as law enforcers. They would have been through 520 hours of training.  
There is also a part-time police academy for students who are in school getting their associate degree, also called certification track academy. They have to come every Friday for two semesters until they reach the 520 hours of training.
They receive tactical training, they practice driving for car chases and they learn field sobriety testing and fire arm skills, all the tactical skills.
Also since they are pursuing their associate degree they are required to take courses like constitutional law and traffic theory.
Classes like that are state mandated to get to the 520 hours so they can be certifiable. It’s convenient for the person pursuing the associate degree and going through the part-time academy because they are getting their requirements and training met at the same time-it saves time and money.
The director of the full-time and certification track academy is a man named Richard Cole.
He graduated from Matc and became a law enforcement officer, then went on to be a lawyer. He returned to Matc to teach law-related classes, like criminal law or constitutional law, and now he’s running the academy.
Jim Daly is acting associate dean and in charge of the police program. He’s handling the day-to-day process for all the associate degree classes and he’s also teaching about five or six classes.
Angela Olson is an Educational Assistant for Criminal Justice. She’s been with the program as an assistant since 2010-and that’s the same year she graduated with her associate degree in Criminal Justice. She also went through the certification academy so she is certified, but she came back here to work full-time.
The people who make up the board of the Criminal Justice Student Organization (CJSO) are Eric Stilson, vice president; Jose Hernandez, president; Justin Anderson, treasurer; Bethany Rosbinsky, sergeant at arms. They have a total of 30 members including the board.
These are all students who are taking that extra step in a leadership role.They collectively described some of their training rooms like the DAT room, the shoot house, the driving track and the shooting range.
The mat room is for practicing defense and arrest tactics (DAT). The shoot house is an actual house layout where they can practice how to maneuver around in a house where they suspect firearms. The shooting range is where they practice perfect aim and accuracy. The driving range is where they practice vehicle operations like high-speed chases.  
Yubi Suarez, an organization member, says the Criminal Justice Student Organization prepares her for her field by offering hands-on experience through a lot of volunteer and networking opportunities.
Volunteer opportunities include being security for school events like the Job Fair and Empty Bowls, but they also do their own community events to raise money for different organizations. Last semester they raised over three tons of supplies for the U.S. military.
There is also the Sojourner Truth event. This is where CJSO members go to the Sojourner Truth House, which is a place for battered women with children. Someone dresses up like Santa and the volunteers wrap presents to give them to the kids, make dinner and just basically have a grand time with the families who might not have otherwise had a happy Christmas.
Another event is the chili cook-off that raises money for an organization. Last year they raised almost $5000 for the POST, which is the Police Officer Support Team of the Milwaukee Police Department.
Also CJSO was asked to volunteer to do security for the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, where they host different musical events.
There are also internships available at the District Attorney offices here in Milwaukee, different police agencies such as the South Milwaukee and Greendale police departments. There are also internships available at the YMCA. One that is coming up is an internship with the FBI, which is very high profile and exclusive-this will be the first.
Crystal Hopson, in her first semester as a Criminal Justice student, works as a security guard. This is one campus job that only Criminal Justice students can apply for. She says after graduating she will be going to UW-Milwaukee, majoring in forensic science.
Fields you can go into after graduating Matc are of course law enforcement, or corrections, probation or government work. There are jobs like police officers, FBI, DEA, US Marshall or maybe even Secret Service.
You can move to other states and do border patrol or customs or private security. You might even open your own private security agency.
Luis Hernandez-Rios, a Criminal Justice student, comes from a long line of police officers in his family. He wants to help clean up the city, so that’s why he decided to go into Criminal Justice.
After graduating from Matc he wants to be a DEA officer. Eventually he wants to do something that directly touches kids who might not have any positive role models in their life-like being in social services.
 Angela Parker, secretary of CJSO said, “This organization helps you gain knowledge of the field through assisting with in-service trainings. You get law enforcement ride-along opportunities and visit facilities such as prisons and police stations. We also attend many workshops and other events during the year.”
“We had the chili cook-off last year, which was an amazing opportunity to meet other law enforcement people in the community,” she added.
Adam Frick attends the Oak Creek Campus and on Oct. 13 he was volunteering as security for the Empty Bowls event. He found out at the biweekly meetings for CJSO.
The Criminal Justice Student Organization has a mission to make it to Washington D.C. for National Police Week, an event that is held every year. May 15 is Law Enforcement Recognition Day and has a big parade. They also have a memorial where they honor all the law enforcement agencies within the United States.
The goal is to get CJSO there so they can see the government up close and personal. They see places where they could really end up or volunteer.
The board of the Criminal Justice Student Organization said they are always looking for members who would like to give back to the community. They are always looking for volunteer opportunities to give back!
 

(Jim Nance/Times)

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