The latest graduating class from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation State Academy has a clear picture of the evidence.
MTSU spent about $11,000 providing law enforcement officers from around the state who successfully completed a six-week course at the academy Nov. 1 with professional cameras for taking photos at crime scenes.
“This would capture a much higher quality of picture,” said Dr. Ben Stickle, an assistant professor of criminal justice administration who lectured at the academy in September. “It would also allow them to do a variety of things that are necessary for crime scene photography such as shooting in very low light and taking very close-up pictures of fingerprints and things like that.”
In cementing a reciprocal relationship with the academy, MTSU hopes to provide working law enforcement officials with even greater opportunities for professional development.
The academy was created for officers who wish to continue and enhance their skills and knowledge. Attendees must have a minimum of five years of experience as a full-time commissioned officer of a Tennessee law enforcement agency to attend the academy. Stickle said MTSU professors found the curriculum enlightening.
“We were highly impressed,” Stickle said. “Many of the individuals they bring in to speak are highly recognized in their fields.”
The department was so impressed that TBI State Academy graduates now can receive up to nine hours of undergraduate credit for their time at the academy if they enroll at MTSU. The credits are for courses in criminal investigation, crime scene investigation and special issues in criminal justice.
MTSU offers a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration entirely online with concentrations available in law enforcement and homeland security. A master’s degree in criminal justice also is available totally online to accommodate working peace officers.
The Department of Criminal Justice Administration faculty members have experience in police departments, probation and parole, juvenile justice, prosecution, criminal defense, corrections, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service.
Stickle, a former officer with the Bowling Green, Kentucky, police force, said there has been a push since the 1950s to get more college-educated police officers into the field.
For more information about MTSU’s criminal justice programs, contact the department at 615-898-2630 or go to www.mtsu.edu/criminaljustice. For more information about the TBI State Academy, call 615-744-4374 or visit the website.
— Gina Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)