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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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UCM’s Criminal Justice Team Earns Ninth National Championship Title

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 11, 2011) – The University of Central Missouri’s Gamma Epsilon Delta chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association/Lambda Alpha Epsilon claimed its ninth consecutive Sweepstakes Award as the top criminal justice chapter in the nation at the 74th annual conference of the ACJA/LAE in Memphis, Tenn.

The annual competition consists of academic testing in the areas of criminal law, juvenile justice, corrections, police management and LAE Knowledge, physical agility and firearms for individuals; as well as team competition for firearms and crime scene investigation.

The 2011 conference involved more than 500 national members, the largest attendance in a number of years compared to last year’s attendance of slightly more than 200. The UCM chapter earned 25 of 90 trophies last year, as compared to this year’s 24. Of the 33 UCM chapter members in attendance, 22 received either an individual or team trophy.

2011 National Championship CJ Team
Members of the 2011 UCM Criminal Justice Team that claimed the national CJA/LAE  Championship are, front row, left to right, Shana McDonald, Caleb Reily, Casey Guyer, Travis LeVee, Cathy Puckett; second row, left of table, Gregg Etter, Sean Camey, Erica Lehmuth; second row, right of table, Alexzander Teitsort, Joel Steffen, Roger Pennel; back row, Richard Gillespie, Jennifer Tambourine, Greg Towe, Marius Manac, Jordan Enk, Bryan VanFleet, Taylor Bryan, Nathan Clark, Andrew Chronister, Matt Hall, James “Michael” Moore, Andrew Albers, Dustin Walters, Colby Harrison. Not pictured are Andy Muench, Charlie Pappert, Cody Pieper, Cynthia Ruggles, DeAnne Bogg, James Garlich, Judi Eastland, Spencer Haglund and Therman Scott.

Even though the academic trophies were short of expectations, team adviser Gregg Etter observed that “we aren’t getting worse; it’s just that everyone else is getting better.”  According to team coach Roger Pennel, “in past years there would be certain regions and chapters that gave us a run for the money.  This year the trophies were well spread out among the six regions and among a number of chapters within each region.”

Pennel also observed that “during the early part of the awards ceremony the team was feeling the heat.”  Maj. Richard Gillespie, firearms teach coach, indicated that “the firearms team knew pretty well that they would provide a needed cushion, since we knew our scores at the range.”

James “Michael” Moore provided a good showing in the Lower Division with a 1st place for Criminal Law and 2nd place in Juvenile Justice. In the Upper Division, Nathan Clark earned a 3rd place in Criminal Law, while Cynthia Ruggles earned a 3rd place in Corrections. In the Professional Division, Etter earned 3rd place in Police Management, Charlie Pappert earned a 2nd place in LAE Knowledge, with Pennel contributing a 1st place in Police Management and a 1st place in LAE Knowledge.

Crime Scene Investigation proved to be a strong point for the Upper Division members, who won two of the three trophies. A team consisting of Jordan Enk, Taylor Bryan and Andrew Chronister earned 3rd place, while the team of Erica Lehmuth, Travis LeVee, and Casey Guyer earned 1st place.

The Physical Agility team members did well in their performance. In the Male under 25 years of age category, Nathan Clark earned 3rd place, with a time of 55 seconds.  Judi Eastland earned 1st place for the Female over 36 group, with a time of 2:02.

UCM earned six of the nine individual firearms trophies.  In the Lower Division, Sean Camey earned 3rd place. Taylor Bryan earned 1st place. Bryan earned the second highest score, only being surpassed by Gillespie.  The Upper Division was very strong with Travis LeVee receiving 2nd place and Jordan Enk receiving 1st place. In the overall competition, Enk’s score was exceeded only by Gillespie, Bryan and another shooter.  The Professional Division provided two trophies. Charlie Pappert received 3rd place, and Gillespie received 1st place in the Professional Division. Since this was the high score for the competition, Gillespie also received the Top Gun Award for the best shooter.  While receiving both the Individual Award and the Top Gun, Gillespie received a standing ovation from the entire crowd.

The UCM Firearms Teams received five of the nine team awards.  In the Lower Division, members received a 1st place and 2nd place trophy.  The 2nd place team consisted of Cody Pieper, Colby Harrison, and Joel Steffen, while the 1st place team consisted of Sean Camey, Taylor Bryan and Greg Towe. Two Upper Division teams received a 3rd place and 1st place.  The 3rd place team consisted of Bryan Van Fleet, Andrew  Chronsiter, and Casey Guyer, and the 1st place team consisted of Andrew Albers, Jordan Enk and Travis LeVee. The top Professional Division Team included Gillespie, Pappert and Andrew Muench.

The UCM chapter also was presented the Spirit Award, an award for the chapter with the best overall spirit during the week-long conference.

Pennel also that he wished to congratulate all seven chapters from the nine-state Region 3, of which he is president.  The seven chapters had 80 individuals present with each chapter giving a great deal of effort, with several of them performing very well.  As a result of these efforts, Pennel was awarded the Plaque for the Outstanding Region of the conference.

Jennifer Tambourine received two awards. One was a 1st place scholarship for $400 for the Upper Division and another 1st place award for the Upper Division paper competition. This was a monetary award of $150, and the paper ”Confronting Child Sexual Abuse: The Victim Profile,” will be published in the next edition of the ACJA/LAE Journal.