Lambda Alpha Epsilon, Troy’s criminal justice club, received awards in every category during a conference members attended in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the end of October.
Seven members of the club attended the conference and participated in the lower, upper and professional divisions. They included: Victoria Hughes, a senior criminal justice major from Fairhope; Evan Roberts, a criminal justice major from Enterprise; Ben Jacks, a senior criminal justice major from Pelham; Hayden Fontaine, a senior criminal justice major from Auburn; Nick Rayburn, a sophomore criminal justice major from Springville; Josh McNett, a junior resource and technology major from Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Kyle Maxwell, a senior criminal justice major from Chelsea.
Competitions included pistol shooting, physical agility, crime scene investigation, academics, corrections, juvenile justice, police administrations, LAE knowledge and criminal law.
Competitions were in three divisions: lower, upper and professional. For the lower division, competitors must have 70 credit hours or less. For the upper, participants must have 71 credit hours or more. The professional division is for any entrant who has ever been compensated for services in the criminal justice field.
To prepare for the conference, the club went to the Troy Police Department’s shooting range twice a week. Members also had days where they would meet at the track and would run, do pushups and do situps to prepare for the physical agility sections. Notes, quizzes and study guides were printed out to prepare for the academic sections, according to Jackie Chavez, assistant professor of the criminal justice department and advisor of LAE.
First-place awards were won in the professional team shooting, lower division individual shooting, upper division individual shooting, professional individual shooting, professional team crime scene investigation, and female and male under 25 physical agility competition.
This year, the agility course consisted of a run, dummy drag, tire stack, squats, crab walk, and jumping jacks. At the end of the course, the students had to do sprints and open a lock.
Second-place awards were won in upper division individual shooting.
Third-place awards were won in upper division individual shooting and upper division team crime scene investigation.
Six academic awards, including one first place and one third place, were won in the upper and professional division in criminal law, LAE knowledge, corrections, juvenile justice and police management.
There are over 50 schools in the region, some of which attended the conference and competed against Troy’s club.
“People came together from a wide variety of schools to compete in many different areas. all relating to criminal justice,” said Joshua McNett, a junior resource and technology major from Troy. “I enjoyed representing my school, and I am very happy that I brought home an award.”
Victoria Hughes, a senior criminal justice major from Fairhope, won first place in a corrections exam, a juvenile delinquency exam, an LAE knowledge exam, police management and operations, physical agility for women under 25 division, a team crime scene competition and a team pistol shooting competition. Hughes also received third place in a criminal law exam.
“The conference was a lot of fun and had had many great networking opportunities,” Hughes said. “We got to hear from some great speakers that were very interesting and educational.
“I’ve also made some great friends though this club and its conferences, and If I could to do it all again, I definitely would.”
Nick Rayburn, a sophomore criminal justice major from Springville, won first place lower division for shooting, first place for upper team shooting and third place upper crime scene investigations. Rayburn said, “These awards mean a lot to me because this was my first conference to attend, and it was an awesome experience.”
Evan Roberts, a criminal justice major from Enterprise and president of LAE, said that the awards mean a lot to him and to the club.
“Winning these awards mean a lot to our Criminal Justice Department and for our club,” Roberts said. “One year ago at this time, we only had two members go to the conference.
“This year we had seven members and our advisor travel to Chattanooga for the conference.”
This is the fourth conference the club has attended, and the club won more awards this time than ever before.
Chavez said the dedication and passion of students was displayed at the conference.
“I think this just shows that our students have a variety of interests in criminal justice,” Chavez said. “Our students are dedicated and really passionate about our field.
“We want to make sure they have experience participating as much as they can.”