Code 1: Critical Skills for the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Fields
by Dr. Kim Myers and Professor Jennifer Feitel
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook predicts an increase of 5% in jobs for police and detectives by 2029. With opportunities on the rise in career paths that also include correctional personnel and probation officers, a degree in criminal justice can empower college students with the knowledge and skills necessary for rewarding futures. Goodwin’s University’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety and Security programs are designed to help students identify areas of interest that serve the community and are personally satisfying.
Report writing encompasses taking notes, describing persons and property, and creating comprehensive crime and arrest reports, search warrants, and related written communications. By learning the basics in the classroom, students gain active, hands-on experience in composing a solid investigative report. Fundamental guidelines are established through a set of rules that are easy to understand and apply in any type of report-writing scenario. Students must demonstrate their knowledge within the discipline and communicate their ideas effectively in writing.
The ability to communicate effectively is essential no matter which career a student decides to pursue. Report writing for the criminal justice field can be challenging, even for seasoned professionals, so it is critical that students learn the fundamentals in the classroom in order to build bridges to successful careers.
With the support of Goodwin’s thoughtful and experienced instructors, students can successfully master report writing. Goodwin’s faculty includes professors designated as Teaching Fellows, who are specifically trained in the application of Universal Design for Learning and creating courses that embrace the wide range of learner variability. This pedagogical philosophy builds trust with instructors and strengthens self-confidence in students.
“From the moment you walked [into the] classroom to the moment you walked out, you knew that you were being taught by an educator who truly cared about you and valued what you had to say. [The] classroom style kept me observant, open, and wanting to better myself through my education,” said Goodwin Criminal Justice program graduate Jesline Rosario.
Learning to write effectively for career-specific goals requires ongoing practice. Writing skills and the proofreading process are taught for specific disciplines. This process requires an initial hands-on focus from the professor as students begin to acquire the necessary skills.
Interview and Interrogation Techniques
Effective interviewing and interrogation are the cornerstones of any successful investigation within the criminal justice and public safety fields, but even competent professionals can struggle with an insufficient foundation in basic skills and techniques. Creating rapport, guiding conversations, developing and analyzing information, employing listening skills, building probing tactics and techniques are some of the essential strategies needed for effective interviews and interrogations. Within the classroom, these strategies allow students to engage in a variety of practical skills applications that are required for the field.
Interview and interrogation and report-writing courses at Goodwin provide students with the basic skills necessary to be successful in various jobs in law enforcement, the federal arena, and the private sector. You don’t become an expert overnight or simply by taking a class — you become an expert by preparing and practicing report after report and interview after interview, learning what works well for you, and developing your own style.
Mastering these skills leads to well-prepared community service professionals, ready to serve and protect. As graduate Jesline Rosario summed up, “Community means coming together for a higher purpose and meaning… people with similar goals who want the environment and society to be better.”
Learn more about the Criminal Justice program at Goodwin University.
Learn more about the Public Safety and Security program at Goodwin University.
Dr. Kimberly Myers was formerly employed by the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification, specializing in fingerprint identification and classification. She has taught state trooper trainees at the Connecticut State Police Academy. In addition, she has taught Criminal Justice courses at the University of Hartford and Mitchell College. Kimberly’s research areas include active-shooter training, policy implementation, threat assessment, and preparedness on college and university campuses. She also has an ongoing interest in college campus public safety issues.
Professor Jennifer Feitel retired as captain from the Department of Correction after 20 years of service in a variety of ranks and duties including Statewide Behavior Management Instructor, PR-24 Instructor, Chemical/Impact Weapons Operator, Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) Instructor, Unit Manager, Shift Supervisor, and Investigator. Jennifer’s interests include corrections/staff training in protective measures.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.