Serving and Protecting: RI Police Learn CSI Skills at JWU

Before Barbara Frazier, LP.D., began teaching at Johnson & Wales University, she was settled in a career with the Warwick Police Department; 20 years as an officer and 14 of those as an investigator.

“This is my second year here, full time,” Frazier said of her status now as an assistant professor in JWU’s Criminal Justice program.

Partnering with the Community

JWU’s inaugural Basic Investigator Training course this fall fell right into Frazier’s wheelhouse. She and other faculty members with policing experience in their past welcomed more than a dozen officers from Warwick, Smithfield, Cumberland, Warren, neighboring universities and the state’s Department of Corrections. Adjunct Professor and retired North Smithfield Police Captain Stephen Riccitelli explained how the 40-hour course over five Fridays on JWU’s campus left these visiting officers well-trained for their investigative positions.Officers take part in basic investigator training

“[We go over] everything from computer forensics to blood spatter, fingerprint lifts and some crime scene photography,” Riccitelli said. “They’re getting a wide variety of training that’s going to put them in a much better position when they go back to their agencies.”

Hands-On Training

The 40 hours that officers spent in training were split between JWU’s Criminal Justice Lab, a state-of-the-art space with a crime-scene staging room, and the university’s Cybersecurity Center in the John J. Bowen Center in Providence. The cyber center was recently designated as a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security (NSA/DHS) Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

“If you looked at how many pictures you have on your cell phone or how many posts you do on social media, there’s a lot of data there,” Assistant Professor Peter Reid said. “A person would have a difficult time sorting through all that data and finding what’s relevant.”Fake blood and other elements of a mock crime scene

That’s why he and his colleagues in the College of Engineering & Design’s Cyber Threat Intelligence & Defense program sat down with the officers to talk to them about types of digital evidence and what information can be derived from that evidence, as well as the proper methods for collecting and storing digital evidence. The training, he says, is beneficial for both parties.

“[We go over] everything from computer forensics to blood spatter, fingerprint lifts and some crime scene photography."

“It gets us really good feedback on what these officers are doing and what they need so we may need to change our curriculum to keep up with challenges they’re facing,” Reid said.

Serving and Protecting

Frazier, Riccitelli and Reid all say they’re proud to help train members of local law enforcement, building relations with industry professionals that support Johnson & Wales’ commitment to experiential education and setting our students up for success.

“It’s going to help just making connections with the people hiring our graduates,” Reid said. “Having those connections is going to help get our grads internships and job opportunities.”

All look forward to continuing to build those relationships and holding more trainings in years to come.investigator training book, with students seated

Apply to JWU

Transfer to JWU

Visit JWU