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Saint Leo University Ocala Education Center's Criminal Justice Speaker Series to address hot topics in law enforcement, courts

The annual series features expert guest speakers addressing some of the hottest issues in law enforcement and criminal justice and runs through May 2021.

Tags: Criminal Justice Featured Saint Leo University WorldWide Ocala Education Center Public Safety Public Events Law Enforcement Public Safety Administration
5 January 2021 - By Mary McCoy
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Some of the hottest issues in law enforcement and criminal justice will be addressed in Saint Leo University's 2021 Criminal Justice Speaker Series. The events are open to the public and are a great opportunity for those who are serving or interested in law enforcement and criminal justice. Faculty and staff are invited and asked to invite students and guests.

The university will have a limited number of seats because of COVID-19 precautions, but the sessions also will be held virtually so everyone may attend. The in-person events (limited to 14 people) will be held at the Ocala Education Center, 1930 S.W. 38th Ave., Ocala, FL 34474.

The sessions will be taught by some of the most respected professionals in their fields and will cover a range of topics from understanding human trafficking to interrogation strategies.

The sessions include:

  • Civil Rights 1983 Litigation, from 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, February 17. The speaker is attorney William Jordan. He is a former homicide investigator, legal counsel for the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, and a member of the U.S Supreme Court Bar. Jordan will discuss the civil rights 1983 litigation, and how to navigate the complex law and avoid being sued as an officer.
  • Testifying Made Easy, from 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dr. Christine Sereni-Massinger, associate professor of criminal justice at Saint Leo University, will lead this session. Sereni-Massinger is a former state prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, and she was elected as Pennsylvania's youngest female judge. She will speak about preparing law enforcement officers to testify in court. Sereni-Massinger will explain the most effective ways to testify and explain how to avoid common tricks and traps of defense council in cross examination.
  • Interrogation Strategies, from 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, 2021. This training is by Lieutenant Rob Fanelli, Investigations Division commander at the Gainesville (FL) Police Department. He oversees Robbery/Homicide, Sexual Assault, ICAC and Domestic Violence departments, as well as the Forensic Unit. Also an alumnus of Saint Leo University, Fanelli is an instructor with Advanced Police Concepts and at the Institute of Public Safety.

COVID-19 protocols will be enforced and social distancing requirements will be in place for those attending in-person. Masks and temperature checks also will be required.

The Criminal Justice Speaker Series is free, but RSVPs are requested. Registration is available at WorldWide Virtual Events. Those interested may also email or call (352) 671-3391.

For more information or special accommodations, contact Rena Thomas at or call (352) 671-3391.