Where Law Enforcement Officers Come for Latest Training

May 14, 2010

Where Law Enforcement Officers Come for Latest TrainingEarlier this week, 22 students including law enforcement officers and Saint Leo University Criminal Justice majors were at the main campus for a three-day special topics course on a hot topic: Managing Undercover Operations and Informant Liability. The intense crime-fighting classes at the main campus won’t end with that. On Monday, May 17, another special topic course, International Sex Trafficking, convenes with more than 90 students representing numerous professions attending. The three-day course, which will nearly fill Selby Auditorium at the main campus, is being co-sponsored with Saint Petersburg College and the Center for Public Safety Innovation.

It’s not unusual for Saint Leo University’s Institute for Excellence in Criminal Justice Administration to host or present special topic courses with educational partners and instructors from numerous professional organizations.

The first programs were developed and presented during the summers and Weekend and Evening College in the early 1990s. Students with a personal or professional interest may enroll in these offerings purely for professional development, but the courses are also offered for either graduate or undergraduate credit hours.  The credit hour sections require substantial academic work in addition to the class lectures.

Even with the significant workload requirements placed on individual students, law-enforcement agencies continue to turn to Saint Leo for such opportunities and the university responds accordingly. “We continue to work with our extended law enforcement community to provide academic opportunities and the most up-to-date training,” said Carol Walker, dean of the School of Education and Social Services, which is the academic home of the Criminal Justice Program.

New challenges in the field create the ideas for new courses.

For instance, up-to-date information on using informants and the potential for liability to an agency or local, state, or federal government, is a necessity for law enforcement agencies, according to Barry Glover (pictured), who directs the summer program offerings. “Agencies must develop sound polices based upon existing laws and nationally accepted practices as part of their duties and responsibilities to their members, the informants they work with, and the public they serve,” said Glover, who is also associate professor of criminal justice on the Saint Leo faculty.

Despite the administrative responsibilities informants create, law enforcement agencies simply have to use them, Glover told attendees of the recent three-day course. Why? Because there are approximately 300 million people in the United States with only 1 million police officers, he said.  To solve major crimes, law enforcement agencies are forced to use informants, though sometimes the individuals involved are unsavory characters themselves, Glover said, and then it seems the agencies “must deal with demons in order to apprehend the devil.”

As a retired Investigations Division Commander with the Clearwater, Fla., Police Department,  Glover recalled during his presentation that the work load for investigating armed robberies and other major crimes became so overwhelming that the use of paid informants was the most expedient way to solve crimes and arrest dangerous criminals. The use of informants thus requires the highest ethical conduct and integrity, he said. 

Similarly, the successful detection and prosecution of criminals who sell other human beings into forced prostitution or other involuntary labor––human trafficking––is another important area that warrants attention and education to prevent such horrific crimes, Glover said.

The May 17 to 19 seminar will include recommended actions for apprehending and prosecuting those involved in this activity.  According to Glover, “when compared to the money spent by our government on the “war on drugs,” the funding allocated towards investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking is a mere pittance.  Adequate funding for training and investigations must be allocated and all countries must work together, if this crime against humanity is to be stopped.”

In recent years, Saint Leo University has also started working with joint educational partners to present courses on special topics that may take place away from campus. Saint Leo works with Security Solutions International, a highly respected training company in the area of Counter-Terrorism, to deliver courses on terrorism and other closely related topics.  Saint Leo is currently in the planning stages of co-hosting a conference in Las Vegas with SSI on Counter-Terrorism  from October 25 to 29.  In addition to this course, plans are being made for Saint Leo to offer a course on Best Practices in Global Security in Israel with SSI from November 5 to 13, 2010.  This will be the fourth year Saint Leo University has offered our students the opportunity to study terrorism in Israel.

For more information on criminal justice studies at Saint Leo University, please contact Barry Glover at 813-310-4365, or, barry.glover@saintleo.edu