Criminal Justice Students Experience Private Security Careers: Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Indiana – Visiting a Disney resort is a whole new world after studying what goes on behind the scenes to keep guests safe.

Students from an Indiana University Kokomo private security course went behind the scenes at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, King’s Island and the Indianapolis Zoo. Additionally, they met via Zoom with security professionals from the Smithsonian Museum and Facebook, to see the challenges and possibilities of this aspect of criminal justice.

“We bring them out into the real world where they can experience it firsthand,” said Kelly Brown, associate professor of criminal justice and homeland security, who created and taught the course with Kelly Fisher, master of conferences in criminal justice and homeland. Security. “They learn from us in class, but they don’t have to take our word for it.”

Students often think of the police, courts, corrections, and law when considering studying criminal justice, and a new minor provides another option.

“By taking them to see real people doing this work in a number of different locations, they get a better understanding of what’s going on in protecting these facilities,” Fisher said. “They see what the policies and procedures are when security personnel come across someone trying to jump over the zoo fence, or similar situations.”

The Florida theme park trip, offered through the IU Kokomo Experience and You, or KEY, program gave them the chance to see just how important security is in the private sector.

Junior Laina Fields said seeing security in action at Disney World helped her visualize the difference between how a private security guard handles a security situation, as opposed to a police officer.

“We were able to see this on a larger scale,” she said. “With the insider’s perspective and being able to see it, you can connect everything.”

Senior Gustavo Garcia is considering becoming a police officer, but said he was also open to the idea of ​​security work.

“We read about security in the manual, but going out there and seeing it with my own eyes, and seeing how it actually works, helped make it a more real option,” he said.

The trip is part of IU Kokomo’s KEY program, which was launched in 2016 with the aim of providing students with the opportunity to connect with people and participate in real-world experiences. The goal is for every student to have a free or low-cost travel experience in their major.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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