Each day is a new adventure, especially when you look through the eyes of law enforcement agencies. That is the new perspective for students that are enrolled in Chad Robinson’s Criminal Justice classes at Science Hill.
Robinson’s class was on full display last Wednesday night during Science Hill’s College, Career and Technical Education open house. Members of the community and prospective students from Liberty Bell were on hand to get a close look at the multitude of classes offered in the CCTE program.
In many cases, instructors in the program pass along real-world experience to their students. That is certainly true for Robinson, who served as a police officer for 11 years before entering the classroom in 2007. He has spent his last three years at Science Hill, and he said there is no place he’d rather be.
“It’s exciting because the students are so fascinated,” Robinson said. “When you see the lightbulb come on, to me, that is one of the most rewarding things you could do.”
The class recently conducted their own investigation as they examined the JonBenet Ramsey case, comparing the ransom note with Patsy Ramsey’s exemplar handwriting by using the 12 qualities and characteristics of handwriting.
Science Hill sophomore Gracie Bradley said that her interest in the class was established as she sat at home and enjoyed the different law enforcement shows like Blue Bloods and Bones on TV. But now that she sees all the steps that law enforcement agents have to take, it gives her a newfound respect.
“When you’re watching shows on TV, they don’t really go in-depth about the process and all the things that they do,” Bradley said.
The class starts each day by going through local newspapers to discuss criminal stories that may appear and how each situation was handled. Science Hill junior Saryn White said that is helpful for students to get more information about the things they see in the newspapers.
“It gives you a better understanding of the police, because a lot of people get annoyed with them about certain things, but I think after sitting in this class and learning about all the stuff that they actually have to go through, it gives you a newfound respect for them,” she said.
White said that she would like to enter the field of correctional psychology, so taking a class like criminal justice will give her an insight into that world.
“I figured that this might give me a good background for college,” White said. “And even if I don’t, it’s good to know these kinds of things, because it encourages you to pay attention more to the world around you and I think that is important.”
The class is currently analyzing handwriting, and after they come back from spring break, Robinson said the class will process a crime scene and practice the technique for fingerprint lifting. There are currently three levels of criminal justice being offered at Science Hill with Principles of Law followed by Criminal Justice I and II. Next year the classes will be Criminal Justice I, II, and III.
While Robinson said his class is a great elective for any student to take, even if the student doesn’t go on to do any police work, not all of the kids are going to go into law enforcement, Robinson said, “but I think they all take something from it and use it in everyday life.”