Get an inside look at an authentic incident command simulation. Partnering with military and police personnel, Saint Leo's criminal justice program will stage a simulated takedown of a human trafficking ring. Be there for the action on March 2.

Your incorrigible dog has done it again. You're on a walk and before you could yank him away, his sniffer goes into overdrive, and he does his trademark "grab and gulp."

Who knows what he ingested this time.

A trip to the vet and an X-ray later and you discover the gruesome answer: the tip of a human finger.

"Operation Fallen Angel"

For students in Saint Leo's graduate criminal justice program, that's how "Operation Fallen Angel" begins. An Incident Command Simulation Lab sponsored by the university's Chesapeake Education Center in Virginia, the hands-on learning experience is being staged on Saturday, March 2 with the action beginning at approximately 2 pm EST.

Coordinated by Dr. Fermin De La Torre, associate professor of criminal justice, the simulation will be followed by an incident debriefing led by Dr. Shannon Farris, assistant professor of psychology at Saint Leo's Savannah Education Center. The debriefing will take place immediately following the end of the simulation at approximately 3:30 pm EST.

Watch it live. Participate in the debriefing.

While the event will take place on the grounds of the Norfolk Police Department's training facility, anyone interested can observe the simulation via live streaming by clicking here. Just login as a guest using PIN # 1410445#, along with your first and last name.

The incident debriefing will be available via Blackboard Collaborate by clicking here on your personal computer, or by downloading the Collaborate app to your iPhone or iPad.

"The actual simulation involves the Chesapeake Center's graduate criminal justice students, local military personnel, the Norfolk Police Department, and students from the Savannah center who will participate in the live Q&A debriefing virtually," said Dr. Farris.

"But anyone from the Saint Leo community, or the public, can watch the action throughout the afternoon, and then participate in the discussion by asking questions via instant messaging chat during the debriefing."

According to Dr. Farris, this unique experience would be of interest to criminal justice and psychology students or professionals, as well as anyone considering a career in human or social services including social work or sociology.

Simulating the real-life intensity of a unified incident command operation and critical resources.

Students in Dr. De La Torre's Information Resource Management for Criminal Justice Management class will operate a mock Incident Command Center that will include representation from all areas of incident command and emergency management operations: law enforcement, Hazmat, medical.

From their nearby location, the students will manage an operation on a building housing the murder suspects and the discovery of additional victims of a human trafficking ring. They will receive information such as on-scene images and reports and will use simulated criminal justice systems and databases, as well as available technology, to collect their intelligence, coordinate an effective response, and direct the personnel in the field.

Anyone watching the simulation via the live feed will be able to observe both the action on-the-scene and inside the incident command center.

The simulation is the culmination of students' eight-week long course during which they examined the changing technology and systems used by criminal justice agencies to manage information, investigated the initial incident in weekly discussion papers, and wrote a 3,500-word final project on technology.

"For the military and police professionals who will be participating in the simulation, this is real-life training," said Dr. De La Torre. "For our students, it's a powerful learning experience. Adult learners want to see how they can apply what they learn to their jobs. Participating in exercises like this can also confirm that this is the right career field for them or not."

According to Dr. De La Torre, "Everything will be done to make the simulation as realistic as possible, including the use of make-up so volunteer role players appear injured."

In addition, the words and actions of students in the incident command center will be totally unscripted. "The responses of both the students and the law enforcement professionals on-scene will undoubtedly reflect the high-stress situation in which they will find themselves," said Dr. De La Torre.

Debriefing closes loop.

Dr. Farris will be on-site as the principal observer. "It's sure to be an intense, emotionally laden experience jammed with action," he said. "And once it's over, we will close the loop by discussing what happened – what worked well, what didn't work well, the emotions that came into play, and what they learned."

Dr Farrish's psychology students and many other students across disciplines in Savannah will help facilitate discussion by leading the question-and-answer portion of the debriefing.

"And at this point, anyone can use the Blackboard Collaborate technology to ask questions and become involved in the discussion," he said.

"This is a truly unique opportunity for viewers and our students to get an inside look at an authentic incident command simulation and the psychological aftermath of human trafficking."