(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – The University of Central Missouri’s Gamma Epsilon Delta Chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association /Lambda Alpha Epsilon returned from the 77th National Conference in Overland Park, KS., as national champions with their 12th consecutive “Sweepstakes Award.”
The chapter was dominant is all areas, including academic testing, crime scene investigation, firearms, and the academic paper competition, with individual or team trophies earned by 60 per cent of the 40 attending members.
Hailey Thomas received second place in lower division and Ryan Kanoy received first place in the upper division in the corrections examination.
Justin Dertinger received first place in the lower division and Colby Harrison and Tommy Hambrough received a third place and first place in the upper division in criminal law.
Charlie Meyer received second place in the upper division and Gregg Etter received a third place in the professional division in police management.
In the area of ACJA/LAE knowledge, Samantha McLain earned third place in the lower division, with Tim Fink earning third place and Ian McCann earning second place in the upper division.
UCM was a strong competitor in crime scene investigation, earning five of the nine trophies. The team of Thomas, Cassie Bone and Michael Pierson received third place in the lower division with the team of Tim Fink, Michael Hawkins and Sara Thomas receiving third place in the upper division. Two second place trophies were received by the team of Natalie Copeland, Harrison, and Jon Glueckert in the upper division, while the team of Greg Towe, Lynsey Sciolaro and Andrew Chronister placed in the professional division.
The five Individual Firearms trophy winners, aided by seven other chapter members, added four Team Firearms trophies.
Nine of the 18 firearms trophies were earned by the UCM shooters. In the individual firearms competition, Dertinger received second place in the lower division and Taylor Brian earned first. In the upper division, Fink earned third place and McCann earned first place. Richard Gillespie placed first in the professional division.
These individuals, aided by other chapter shooters brought home four team trophies. The team of Brian, Dertinger and Austin Latham received first place in the lower division, and the team of Kanoy, Harrison and Lucas Neff finished second. The team of McCann, Fink and Greg Towe took first place. The top team in the professional division consisted of Gillespie, Brian Van Fleet and Chronister. Gillespie received the Top Gun trophy for the high score of the competition.
Sierra Haymes earned first place in physical agility for females 25 and under.
Another area of strength this year was the academic paper competition, with UCM earning five of the nine awards. Dertinger received third place in the lower division with a paper titled “Drugs: A Problem in Society”; second place went to Bone with her paper, “Problem-Orientated Policing vs. Community Policing”; and the Thomas received first place with her paper, “Violent Offenders on Probation, Understanding the Numerous Factors.”
In the upper division, Michael Hawkins earned third place with his paper, “The Impact of the Insanity Defense,” and Neff earned second place with “Violence in Prisons.”
Roger L. Pennel, chapter advisor for GED and conference director, indicated that the student paper competition has improved significantly during the past three years due solely to the efforts of Gregg Etter, also a GED chapter advisor.
“Of the 54 papers submitted by all chapters this year, 35 were the efforts of the GED chapter members. Earning five of the nine student paper awards serves to emphasize the academic strength of our program and the strong classroom experience that the criminal justice students receive at UCM,” Etter said.
A GED team consisting of Lynsey Sciolaro and Glueckert received a third place in the lip sync contest.
Towe, a graduate student, has served the past year as the national student representative for the organization. He served as the master of ceremonies for the opening evening ice breaker and lip sync/talent contest and was the moderator for the student officers’ breakfast and discussion session.
Six individuals who were successful in the academic testing also earned honors in CSI, firearms or the paper competition. Of special note were Dertinger, performing well in academics, along with two firearms
trophies and winning with an academic paper entry. Fink, in addition to academics, doubled up on firearms and took a CSI team trophy. Harrison topped his academic efforts with CSI and firearms, along with Thomas supplementing her academic efforts with CSI and the paper competition.
Both Kanoy and McCann earned awards in firearms, in addition to their academic showing.
Of the 25 trophy winners, 11 of them received trophies in at least two unrelated areas.
Pennel indicated that “these numbers are a true indication of the breadth of our chapter. It also indicates the caliber of our student. Each week, they are willing to attend study groups for each of the five academic areas, as well as go to the firearms range and practice their crime scene investigation skills.”
The 78th ACJA/LAE National Conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee.