Criminal Justice Day offers perspectives on careers in law enforcement

Officer Jennifer Carlson speaks to a couple of students at Criminal Justice Day about becoming a police officer. Carlson graduated from KU's law enforcement training center in 2008. Photo by Torrie Cross, The Campus Ledger.

Will Baldwin

Sports Editor

Officers from several agencies in Johnson County and the surrounding area were on campus Wednesday morning for Criminal Justice Day. Officers set up booths outside at the COM plaza and shared the pros and cons of careers in law enforcement.

Jennifer Carlson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department participated in Criminal Justice Day and discussed some of the things that she enjoys about her career.

“You will meet so many people from so many different backgrounds and it will keep you on your toes,” said Officer Jennifer Carlson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. “Your level of weird gets higher with the more years of law enforcement that you have.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) caught the attention of student Izabella Borowiak-Miller. Borowiak-Miller, who works with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, said she is still trying to figure out her path, but thought the DEA would be interesting based on what she has learned so far on the job.  

“The DEA would be really fun,” said Borowiak-Miller. “They mostly stop drugs of 250 pounds or more. It would be really fun to go out and find those people.”

In law enforcement, there are plenty of opportunities for excitement, especially on patrol, but that is only one part of the job. Another part of the job is reporting. Being able to write and communicate effectively in great detail is a vital part of law enforcement.

“A big portion of our job involves writing reports,” said Matt Buelt of the Overland Park Police Department. “They don’t show that stuff on Cops, but at the end of the night and throughout the shift we are writing reports and some of those can be four of five pages long. Most of the officers that excel and move up or move to different departments are the ones that can write really well.”

Due to the shootings that have occurred at the hands of police officers in recent months, some citizens have spoken out about their lack of trust for law enforcement. Nick Shurmanite of the Shawnee Police Department wants people to know that they can put their trust in his department.  

“We are not a bad agency,” said Shurmanite. “Some people are under the impression that we go out and shoot people for no reason and that’s not what happens. We are just trying to get out there and engage with our public and our citizens and say, ‘Hey, we are here for you guys.’”


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