Criminal Justice Day Seeks to Spark Interest in Law Enforcement Careers

Keiser University students met with law enforcement, shown gear, vehicles

By Crystal Chen – Assignment editor/reporter

Posted: 2:13 PM, March 14, 2017Updated: 6:50 PM, March 14, 2017

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first Criminal Justice Day in Jacksonville kicked off at Keiser University Tuesday with dozens of students and curious minds lined up to meet the men and women who keep the streets safe.

Typically when you see the bomb squad, the hazmat crew and SWAT team set up in your parking lot, you want to stay away. But at Keiser University, dozens lined up to get an up-close look at the trucks lined up on display for students and the community to get a better idea of what local law enforcement does.

“I can definitely make a positive impact on the public alone, and so I’ve really been motivated to pursue a career in law enforcement,” Keiser University criminal justice major Austin Blench said.

News4Jax Crime and Safety analyst Gil Smith spent over two decades with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He said it’s always important for the public to get a better understanding of what the agencies are capable of doing to keep the community safe.

“This is important to the agencies because they’re making important contact with the community, and that is something that is so important and you can’t do too much of that,” Smith said.

“Whenever there’s an appreciation for what somebody does, there’s a great respect that goes with that,” President of Keiser University’s Jacksonville campus Lisamarie Winslow said.

In a way, the event was also similar to a show and tell, but on a much larger scale. High-tech equipment and gear were on display along with K-9s and tactical gear.

Getting a firsthand look at the equipment also gave students from A. Philip Randolph and Lee high schools a wealth of knowledge outside of the classroom

“(With) the knowledge of the equipment and the officers and what they do, I’ll definitely be walking away pursuing my career with that” Blench said.

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