JWU Opens New Criminal Justice Lab

JWU Providence administration at the Criminal Justice Lab ribbon cutting ceremony

“In the area of criminal justice, a strong relationship between our educational institutions and the professional law enforcement community is vital to continuing advancements in the field,” said Tom Dwyer, university vice chancellor and provost, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Johnson & Wales' new Criminal Justice Lab.“This is a great day and a real step forward for JWU.”

Johnson & Wales officially opened the lab, located on the fifth floor of the Taco Center on the Providence campus, on November 10. In addition to members of the university’s leadership, Criminal Justice students, and JWU faculty and staff, several Rhode Island law enforcement representatives were in attendance, including Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré.

New Lab Includes Staging Room + Analysis Suite
JWU spent $650,000 on the 2,400 square foot space which consists of:

  • a crime lab with laboratory grade furniture and equipment
  • a crime scene staging room with moveable furniture and a bullet trajectory research window
  • faculty offices

The staging room will give the students a place to collect evidence that they then can analyze in the crime lab. Forensic microscopes and finger printing kits are just some of the equipment students will have at their disposal.

Crime lab equipment.

“Like so many of the programs we offer at Johnson & Wales, criminal justice is a field where you have to apply what you learn in the classroom to real life settings. To be successful in preparing our students for the workforce of tomorrow, we knew that their classroom learning had to go beyond their textbooks,” Providence Campus President Mim Runey said.

Added Dwyer, “This is yet another way that we are making an investment in JWU’s future and the future of our students.”

Runey and the JWU administration listened to the concerns of their academic leadership, reached out to law enforcement leaders at the city and state level for input, and ultimately built a space where, instead of just reading how to collect, identify, classify and process evidence, students could do all of those things.

With 500 students in the Criminal Justice program, approximately 150 students will use this new lab each year. Classes will begin taking place in the lab this winter term.

Invited guests to the ribbon cutting ceremony included

  • Colonel Steven O’Donnell, Superintendent of the RI State Police
  • AT Wall, RI Department of Corrections director
  • Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements
  • Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King
  • Dennis Hillard, RI State Crime Lab director

Preview the New Lab
View more images from the ceremony below.

Mim and Tom.

CJ student selfie.

Law enforcement.

CJ students.

Crime scene room.

Crime scene room.