Agencies, students drawn to Criminal Justice Career Day

February 27, 2017
Criminal Justice Career Day

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Earning a degree in criminal justice or forensic investigation from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities, including working for a state or city police department. That is one of the draws for both agencies and students at the  university’s Criminal Justice Career Day, set for March 7 in Robert I. Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall. 

“As one of Wisconsin’s premier law enforcement agencies, our recruitment process is competitive,” said Sergeant James Sawyer with the Wisconsin State Patrol. “We pride ourselves not only in how selective we are but also in the discipline, strength and knowledge we develop while attending our recruit academy. The Wisconsin State Patrol never gives a badge away; you must earn it. The Criminal Justice Career Day gives our agency a unique opportunity to explain this process in depth while also providing advice to prepare prospective applicants for a career in law enforcement.”

Between 300-400 criminal justice and forensic investigation students at UW-Platteville will have the opportunity to network with representatives from up to 75 tri-state agencies from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with speakers scheduled to present during the event. Last year, approximately 350 students and 75 agencies from all areas of criminal justice attended.

As another example, seven UW-Platteville Department of Criminal Justice graduates are currently employed at the City of Brookfield Police Department, including Captain J. Philip Horter, Investigation Division Commander, and Det. Michael Skemp, as well as the department’s assistant chief, a lieutenant, and three officers, one who began working in February. The department has 70 sworn officers.

Horter said UW-Platteville criminal justice and forensic investigation graduates do very well in their application process. “UW-Platteville has had a solid reputation as a provider of criminal justice graduates for many years,” said Horter. “The background provided through the required academic classes prepares graduates for future employment in the criminal justice field. The classroom work, along with newer opportunities utilizing UW-Platteville’s Forensic Investigation Crime Scene House, set a foundation for what will be required at both the academy and then on the job.”

Skemp agreed. “My time as a UW-Platteville criminal justice student assisted me in many ways to transition into a job in law enforcement,” said Skemp. “I built relationships with other students who went on to work for other jurisdictions and that networking type connection has allowed for open information sharing and open lines of communication between me and several others from area police/sheriff's departments. My time at UW-Platteville also assisted me in developing communication skills and the sense of responsibility needed to successfully transition into a law enforcement job. The education I received at UW-Platteville, specifically in criminal justice, helped lay a solid foundation of knowledge that provided an easy transition into the police recruit academy – especially in the academic testing part of the academy and in the organization skills needed to be able to multitask and learn the numerous facets of the job.”

UW-Platteville’s Criminal Justice Career Day will be featured in an episode of the national, audio broadcast “Go Law Enforcement.” The podcast will include interviews from law enforcement agency representatives attending the Criminal Justice Career Day, provide information to those considering or actively pursuing a career in law enforcement, and highlight the UW-Platteville Criminal Justice Association. The goal of the podcast is to provide accurate law enforcement career information, including a detailed focus on areas of specialization within law enforcement. The podcast will be conducted by Joseph Libowsky, who works in Wisconsin state law enforcement and is founder and operator of the law enforcement website,, which provides information for those interested in a law enforcement career. The podcast will launch at the end of February and will be available at and on iTunes.

For more information about Criminal Justice Career Day, contact the Criminal Justice Association at

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, Communications Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


Subscribe to RSS FeedSubscribe to news at University of Wisconsin-Platteville using our RSS feed.

Footer Anchor