Criminal Justice Club at Fort Hays State uses break to see pieces of New York justice system

Justice club trip

Members of the Criminal Justice Club at Fort Hays State University visited New York City over spring break to engage in activities that promote service and professionalism.

The service project provided students the opportunity to serve lunch at the Xavier Mission Soup Kitchen on Sunday, March 15. They volunteered from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., serving lunch to about 1,100 people and visiting with many of them.

"Participation in service activities such as this not only provides the opportunity to give back to the communities we visit but also allow students to see a different aspect of the criminal justice system," said Dr. Tamara J. Lynn, assistant professor of justice studies and faculty advisor for the club.

"Specifically," she said, "those who experience homelessness and extreme poverty also indirectly -- or directly -- experience the criminal justice system. Furthermore, these opportunities also introduce various career choices that club members may not have previously considered."

Members of the club were also invited to a private tour of the New York City Joint Operations Center, Real Time Crime Center and Counter-Terrorism Unit.

"This was a tremendous opportunity, not afforded to other groups, to observe the marriage of technology and law enforcement in practice," she said. "In addition, club members had the opportunity to network with a variety of professionals across the criminal justice system throughout this private tour."

Members also toured real-life television and movie crime scenes throughout Little Italy and China Town, hosted by NYPD detective Ike Ilkew. Additional tour stops included the Federal Court House, City Hall, NYPD Central Booking Unit and NYPD headquarters.

Besides the service and professional activities, club members visited the 9/11 Memorial and attended a Broadway show. While club members receive some funding through SGA to attend these activities, they also engage in a number of fundraising activities throughout the school year, as well as pay out-of-pocket in order to participate.

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