UNH Chapter of ACJA Brings Home Gold


WEST HAVEN–On Thursday, Nov. 20, nine students and two faculty members embarked on a 600-mile journey to compete in the Regional 4 competition for the American Criminal Justice Association.

The nine members have been preparing since the summer for various competitions including physical agility, firearms, written examinations and a mock crime scene. This year, the ACJA Region 4 conference was held in Ferrum, Va. at Ferrum College. After 11 hours of driving, the students finally reached their destination.

Students participated in competitions from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. There were three divisions of competitions: the lower division, the upper division and the professional division. The lower division is for 70 credits or less, upper is 70 or more credits and professional division is for professors and those who have careers in Criminal Justice. The students showed their spirit decked out in UNH colors and handmade shirts. Lindsey Braga and Kevin Galotti looked intimidating in blue and yellow face paint.

In the morning, Josh Tine, Richard Cannata, Kevin Galotti and Professor Daniel Maxwell competed in the individual firearms and team firearms competitions. The team was made of the three students. There were four stages of shooting in which the distances changed and students had to shoot in different positions at a target down range.

Physical Agility began in the early morning. The first girl to run the course started off by breaking her ankle, which made the UNH students a little nervous, but they went out with full confidence. Adam Embler, Kevin Galotti, Richard Cannata, Lindsey Braga and I competed in the 25 and under division. The course consisted of running straight out in a sprint, between cones, around a rock wall, through some more cones, under a picnic table, over a bridge, around a tree, under the table again, up a rope ladder, and then a full sprint to the finish.
After grabbing lunch, students then made their way to Garber Hall to take the online academic tests. Students could choose which test they wanted to take and have been studying for the last three weeks. Students were tested on the following areas: LAE Knowledge, Criminal Law, Corrections, Police Management and Juvenile Justice. Tests were multiple choice and short answer with an unlimited time limit.

The final area of competition was the mock crime scene. Students were put in teams of three and armed with a pen and notepad. Two minutes before entering the scene they were given a piece of paper which stated the call to the crime scene. Teams then had 15 minutes on scene to question all witnesses, sketch, and interview as necessary. After the 15 minutes were up, students had 45 minutes to write a report and hand it in for evaluation.

After a long day of competition, the students headed back to the hotel to rest, relax and prep for a day of seminars. On Saturday, the students attended three seminars to learn about cyber crime, which was lead by Gary Reynolds, a local detective. After the seminars, students headed back to the hotel, put on their best attire and headed back to Ferrum College for the awards banquet. The club brought home over 20 trophies and over 10 medals.
ACJA also won the Sweepstakes award which is given to the chapter that”sweeps” the region in academic competition, and the Jim Hooker spirit award, which is the most prestigious award you can get. This award means the chapter represented good sportsmanship, high competition standards and high spirit at all times.

All students qualified for the National Conference which will be held in Jacksonville, Fla. from April 5 to April 10, 2009. Students are currently fundraising the $7500 needed to attend.

The students were all sad to come home, but all agreed the 11 hour drive was worth it. On the way home Sunday afternoon, students did not have any trouble showing their spirit.
The club would like to thank the Bartels fund for funding our trip as well as Dr. Fadia Narchet and Daniel Maxwell.