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an open letter from faculty, James Paul, Fall2006

Introduction to Criminal Justice 
"The Changing Role of Criminal Justice Agencies After9/11/01" 

As an extra credit assignment, students registered in the classIntroduction to Criminal Justice (CRMJ-101-51) were asked tovolunteer a minimum of 30 hours at a Criminal Justice agency inorder to gain a better understanding of the agency's functionalong with its problems. Students were also asked to examine therole of each agency in the area of Homeland Security and asked toformulate an opinion on any possible improvements that the agencymight consider. Initially, eight students, only five were able tocomplete the assignment. (Copies of student reports attached.)

Four of the five students chose to volunteer at local LawEnforcement agencies and one student chose to volunteer at a Courtagency. Overall, the students that observed law enforcement foundthat since 9/11/01, Police have become better trained inanti-terrorism tactics. Some agencies required new officers toparticipate in terrorism prevention classes while other agenciesselected specific officers to undergo anti-terrorism training. Eachof the law enforcement agencies involved reported improvements inweaponry to combat terrorism and one agency reported theacquisition of a K-9 for anti-terrorism duties through a federalgrant. One student was able to learn that law enforcement agenciesare involved in preparedness training with schools and otherinstitutions. The student that volunteered in the State Courtsystem felt that there was little involvement by the Courts in thearea of Homeland Security and pointed to improvements in Courtroomand Courthouse security as the main area that saw a differencesince 9/11/01.

Overall, students reported very little need for improvement inthe area of homeland security at these Criminal Justice agencies,other then further training to increase preparedness.

This project allowed student to opportunity to observe ourCriminal Justice agencies and to participate in its functionalareas. Although the students did not seem to be overly critical ofhow each agency operated on a daily basis or each agencies reactionto the Homeland Security initiative, I am sure that these studentswill be in a better position to their aspirations, this experienceshould help them to formulate solutions to the ongoing threat ofInternational and Domestic Terrorism and the need for ourcontinuing preparedness.

James Paul

Raritan Valley Community College
Last updated 12/21/07 by AKA

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