Public invited to learn how gangs affect community, free training offered to officers

By Cody Konieczki
Communication ‘17

JAN. 25 – Trine University’s Department of Criminal Justice will host two upcoming events on Trine’s main campus.

Planned are a criminal justice (CJ) and crime scene investigation (CSI) competition for Region II Skills USA and the Indiana chapter of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association (MGIA). Trine’s own CJ students will volunteer at each event.

The CJ and CSI competition for Region II Skills USA is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 30 in Best Hall first floor. The competition is for area high school students enrolled in a vocational CJ program. Seven three-member teams are expected to compete in CSI and seven individuals plan to compete in CJ. All competitors are enrolled at Impact Institute (formerly known as Four County Vocational Cooperative) in Kendallville and Heartland Career Center in Wabash.

The students can either compete in CSI or CJ. For CSI, Trine’s Criminal Justice department will set up a crime scene for the competitors to examine. For CJ, the competitors will take a written exam and perform fingerprinting, oral interview and a police welfare check. The top five CSI teams and the top five CJ students will have the chance to go on to compete at the state level.

The MGIA regional training will take place Wednesday, Feb. 3 in Fabiani Theatre, Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center. There will be two sessions for the event, the morning session will be open to the public and the afternoon session will be exclusively for area law enforcement and corrections officers and probation personnel.

The morning session from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. will feature Bruce Malkin, president of the Illinois Chapter of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association and an investigator with the DuPage County (Ill.) prosecutor’s office. His presentation will focus on how gangs affect communities.

The afternoon session from 1:15 to 5:15 p.m. will feature Kurt Bensheimer, deputy chief in Security Threat Group Operations with the Indiana Department of Corrections. His presentation will give attendees an introduction to gangs they might encounter during their professional experiences. Law enforcement officers who wish to attend the free training should register at www.mgia.org.

The MGIA event is sponsored by Midwest Gang Investigators Association, Steuben County Probation Department, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, TAO American Criminal Justice Association and Trine University – Department of Criminal Justice.