Criminal Justice Team Claims Tenth National Championship
Contact Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 9, 2011) – The University of Central Missouri's Gamma Epsilon Delta chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association/Lambda Alpha Epsilon recently claimed its 10th consecutive Sweepstakes Award as the top criminal justice chapter in the nation at the 75th annual conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The annual competition consists of academic testing in the areas of criminal law, juvenile justice, corrections, police management and LAE Knowledge, physical agility, crime scene investigation for teams and firearms competition for individuals and teams.
The 2012 conference involved more than 350 national members. The UCM chapter earned 24 trophies. According to Roger Pennel, chapter advisor, “almost 80 percent (23 of the 29) of the participants received awards. We have never been a team where one person or one event carries the entire team.”
“The success in the academic areas has been improving. Of course, almost every other team is improving, but they haven’t caught us yet.,” said Team Coach Gregg Etter.
Pennel added, "Once again, this year’s trophies were well spread out among the six regions and among a number of chapters within each region. Our two major competitors this year were from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., and Evangel University, Springfield, Mo. The three best teams in the country are within a 100-mile radius of Warrensburg."
Maj. Richard Gillespie, firearms team coach, said, "The firearms team knew pretty well that they would provide a needed cushion. It was even more comforting that they announced the firearms winners at the first of the presentations.”
He further indicated that “their performance overall was superb, since we were in a ‘rebuilding year.’ You always lose your good shooters, but there is someone waiting in line to take their place.”
There was a good balance between the academic and the firearms, with the team winning ten trophies in both areas. In the academic areas, UCM performed very well in corrections and LAE knowledge. Awards in the lower division were earned by Ian McCann, second place for both corrections and LAE knowledge; Ryan Kanoy, first place for corrections; and Levi Osborn, third place for corrections. In the upper division, Kirra Soper received first place for criminal law and second place for corrections, and Thomas Bruning received second place for LAE knowledge. In the professional division, Charlie Pappert earned third place in criminal law and second place in LAE Knowledge; and Pennel earned first place in LAE Knowledge.
The sole chapter winner in the physical agility competition was Therman Scott, third place, in the male 36 and over.
UCM earned five of the nine individual firearms trophies. The lower division, second place was earned by McCann. Two upper division members were awarded with second place going to Sean Camey and third place going to Greg Towe. In the professional division first place went to Gillespie and second place Pappert. Gillespie’s score was the high score for the competition, so he also received the Top Gun Award as the best shooter.
The UCM Firearms Teams received five of the nine team awards. The first place lower division team consisted of Bethany Grygar, Kanoy and McCann and the third place team, Tim Fink, Colby Harrison and David Rhodenbaugh. The upper Division first place team consisted of Camey, Greg Towe and Bryan Van Fleet with the third place team bringing, Caroline Burk, James Johnson and Charlie Meyer together. According to Gillespie, the third place team did very well. Two of the lower division members had to shoot in the upper division since the third member was upper division. He indicated that “they performed very well against the upper division shooters.” The third place professional team included Gillespie, Pappert and Etter.
Pennel, as president of Region 3, was awarded the Plaque for the Outstanding Region of the conference.
Erica Lehmuth received a first place scholarship for $400 for the Graduate Division.
Two members received recognition for academic papers submitted to the annual Paper Competition. Both Sam Gahr and Natasha Sheldon received recognition for their second place papers. Gahr competed as lower division and Sheldon as a graduate student. Each received a second place certificate and a monetary award of $100.
The Region 3 Conference will be sponsored by the local chapter in Warrensburg Oct. 19-21, 2012. The 2013 National Conference is planned for Valley Forge, Pa.