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Northwestern College & Oak Lawn Police Partnership Results in 2nd Juvenile Justice Class Visit

[Oak Lawn, IL] Northwestern College’s Juvenile Justice Classes were given a second visit from the Oak Lawn Police Department as part of a partnership developed to engage the Criminal Justice students with current, hands-on knowledge from juvenile officers working in the field. Three visits were scheduled as part of the Summer Quarter’s Juvenile Justice Class, with each visit calibrated to intensify as the students’ knowledge in the area of law widened. Last week the Oak Lawn Police Department provided its second of three presentations for the course, this one by Juvenile Officer Patricia Prince who also currently serves as Oak Lawn’s D.A.R.E officer. This partnership with the Oak Lawn Police is the College’s first multi-presentation initiative on a single law enforcement topic, although law enforcement officers from numerous local, state and federal agencies frequently come out to speak to classes as special guest speakers throughout the year.

The Juvenile Justice class passed the midway mark of the Summer Quarter, and with its increased proficiency with juvenile justice issues, Officer Prince was introduced to the class and discussed procedures once juveniles enter the criminal justice system. Specifically, she spoke to the students about procedures engaged from the initial point of custody all the way through adjudication, providing numerous examples so as to better convey how textbook definitions play out when applied to real-world scenarios. Officer Prince has been with the Oak Lawn Police Department for twenty (20) years and is the D.A.R.E. officer at three elementary schools. It is her experience working directly in the schools which has made her the go-to officer for problems that arise involving students.

Officer Prince’s presentation was preceded by Oak Lawn Police Department’s Sergeant Carl Michalski who spoke to the Juvenile Justice Class in their second week of the Summer Quarter curriculum.

According to Joseph Pecko, Program Director of Northwestern College’s School of Legal Studies, the instructors for all of Northwestern College’s Criminal Justice Program courses are active or retired law enforcement officers, bringing real-life experiences into the classrooms. Thanks to the efforts of former Oak Lawn Police Chief Charles Chigas, a Northwestern College Criminal Justice instructor, the partnership with Northwestern College and the Oak Lawn Police Department was facilitated. The addition of three presentations by juvenile justice officers into the Juvenile Justice Class curriculum is the first multi-presentation initiative of the partnership and was designed to provide students with real-world knowledge as their familiarity and proficiency with juvenile law advanced.


About Northwestern College:

Northwestern College (NC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, www.ncahlc.org. The college offers focused career-oriented associate degree and certificate programs with flexible schedules and a supportive faculty. Day, evening, weekend, online classes and online programs are available, with campuses in Chicago and Oak Lawn as well as Online. More information can be found at www.northwesterncollege.edu or by calling toll-free (888) 205-2283.