School of Criminal Justice, Fire Science, and EMS
It is the mission of the criminal justice/fire science program faculty and staff to provide an atmosphere where active learning may occur, to provide students with the highest quality educational experience, to continue to support the “professional model” as currently utilized, to become appropriate role models for students, to support the educational program by acquiring the appropriate equipment and supplies, to fulfill the advising role, and to assess the academic outcomes of the program.
- Provide students with a broad-based, liberal education.
- Provide students with the skills necessary to perform as twenty-first century criminal justice practitioners.
- Assist students with their development of a set of professional ethics.
- Assist students in the development of their critical thinking skills.
- Assist students with the development of their writing skills.
- Provide an educational atmosphere where active learning may occur.
- Encourage life long learning.
- Assess the educational outcomes of the program.
The criminal justice and fire science programs allow you a unique opportunity to receive state certification in a number of areas. You may obtain Firefighter I and II Michigan certifiability, Wildland Firefighting certification (USFS S130, S190, and I220), and certifiability through the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). The following certificates may also be awarded: the Michigan Corrections Officer Certificate, Incident Command System, Hazardous Material Awareness Level, Hazardous Material Operations Level, and the 40 hour Emergency Response Technician - HAZWOPER (29CFR 1910.120).
Forensic science and Criminal Justice faculty lead wrongful convictions panel discussion
Two LSSU faculty members recently participated with colleagues from Wayne State University and University of Michigan in a panel discussion on a wrongful conviction case that was presented at Wayne State, and five LSSU students were able to attend the program as part of their studies here.
A packed audience of students, alumni, interested citizens, and one released exoneree, heard "Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction," the story of the wrongful conviction case of Karl Vinson, who is still imprisoned and awaiting a hearing for his release before the Wayne County Circuit Court. During the WSU presentation, a panel of scientists and lawyers involved in Vinson’s case presented evidence of a wrongful conviction for criminal sexual conduct in 1986.
The panel was organized by Aaron Westrick Ph.D., an LSSU professor of criminal justice, and Marvin Zalman, who is a member of the faculty in WSU's Criminal Justice Dept. Highlights of the program included presentations by seven criminal justice experts and scientists including Judy Westrick Ph.D., an LSSU professor of chemistry and Aaron Westrick's sister. She collected a saliva sample from Vinson in prison and performed preliminary testing through LSSU, then found the one certified laboratory that still performs the nearly obsolete body-fluid secretor test.
Repeated testing excluded Vinson as the depositor of a semen sample taken at the crime scene. The University of Michigan Innocence Clinic had additional tests conducted by out-of-state laboratories and conducted tests on more recent samples.
Also during the WSU program, attorneys described the facts of the case, how the case came to light, and its current legal status.
The Westricks, who are Michigan natives and WSU alumni, often work on investigative cases regarding justice procedures and forensics and bring their experiences into their teaching at LSSU. They have also worked with youths during LSSU forensic science summer camps. They will be presenting "The Sciences of Crime Scene Investigation" seminars soon at LSSU and WSU.