WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY RIVERFRONT CAMPUS: WIU Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Students Visit D.C.
Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus recently issued the following announcement.
For Western Illinois University students, learning about law enforcement and justice administration does not just occur in the classroom. Forty-eight students recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., where they spent two days visiting several federal agencies for a hands-on learning experience.
Associate Professor Anthony McBride put a trip to D.C. in motion about two years ago when he first came up with idea. This year, he put together a committee of five of his students to help organize and plan, and he started calling agencies in Washington.
"It was a challenge to arrange. I just kept calling people and calling people, and several of the agencies told me that no other University has ever requested to visit in this way," said McBride. "They were excited to have us."
Prior to this trip, McBride had arranged smaller trips to prisons in the area, as well as to the FBI and state academy in Springfield, IL. But he has never arranged a trip of this magnitude. Eventually, his goal is to turn this trip into a course of its own.
The students left by charter bus in early April. Once they arrived in D.C., they were able to fit in some sightseeing before meeting with the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Secret Service and FBI over a five-day period.
"These trips are about building resources for the students and for WIU," McBride said. "We already have strong relationships with the Washington Police Department, the U.S. Marshals and the Secret Service. [There are 10 WIU students currently completing internships with the Marshals, and several alumni work for the Secret Service and the Washington Police Department.] My goal is for each of these agencies to have a recruiter visit our campus."
Leading up to the trip, the students met several times to prepare physically and mentally, as well as to allow the students to get to know each other.
"I had the U.S. Department of Justice come from Chicago and put on a seminar to teach our students how to diffuse situations or handle a crisis situation or terrorist, and the Tazewell County Probation Department did a training on self-awareness," explained McBride. "These are trainings that are often offered to only law enforcement departments.
Along with the trainings, the students did physical agility training and coordinated with WIU's Military Science department to practice firearms shooting.
The Macomb Walmart, Hy-Vee and the WIU Bookstore donated water and healthy snacks for the trip, as well as items to raffle on the bus.
McBride is putting together a video documentary of the trip, which will be available in the near future.
For more information on Western's LEJA program, visit wiu.edu/leja.
Original source can be found here.