Monday, March 23, 2009

Criminal Law

Well, two weeks later I can say it... I'm done with the two worst weeks at ILEA: Criminal Law. But truth be told, and I know most wont agree, it was really easy.

The first week started out fairly slowly; the attorney who was teaching us broke all four of our classes (as we are together for four weeks) up into different squads. Why keeping us together as classes didn't happen is beyond me but hey, I'm not the instructor. He spent the first day explaining what we would be covering, why we would be covering it (criminally and civilly), and how we as police officers need to be street level attorneys. Having gone through an entire criminal justice program for college I had been familiar with names such as Miranda, Garner, and Escobedo but had a limited understanding of even the most important law enforcement landmark cases. I felt like Criminal Law would be able to expand a bit more upon that.

As we progressed through week one I started to wonder if the horror stories I heard were true. I heard the instructor was somewhat "anti-cop," quick to anger, and extremely boring - but as the week went on I didn't think any of that was true... well, sort of. I was fairly bored mostly because this first week seemed a bit repetitive. Truth be told as the week went on I hate to say it but I did not get that "expansion" of knowledge I was hoping to obtain; I felt like my entire college career was jammed into forty hours of class. It was nice, however, to read the actual cases to get a feel as to why the Supreme Court ruled in certain favor - all in all it seemed to me they just used common sense in a time where law enforcement was not well regulated. Or as some cops may say: "the old days." Can't say I agree but I can at least understand.

Week two was a bit more interesting, that's for sure. We ended our criminal and substantive federal law cases and began to focus on civil liabilities (which we have a one day class our final week) and specific Indiana statutes. The state laws were what I felt would be most important to me seeing as a college curriculum wouldn't teach them to students AND I would obviously be using them on a daily basis. I again, however, felt a bit cheated as we didn't do much more than read the crimes straight out of the Indiana Criminal Code.

Come the end of the week we got our study session but it was with the instructor and not "Dr. Love." Dr. Love had stated we should just use the student made study guides as the test hadn't changed in over ten years... and that at this point they probably looked fairly identical to the actual exam. Regardless, I went to the study session. And that night I left the building because everyone, specifically my roommates, were freaking out. My buddy Jason, from Merrillville PD, joined me outside as we talked about the exam. He had gone to IU Northwest and stated he felt pretty much the same about what we had learned all week... and most importantly we both agreed that it was mostly common sense. We chose to merely look over our study guides over some late night dinner and didn't worry about it. Of course my roommates kept me up til 0200 freaking out and Jason unfortunately felt it as things got a bit physical in my room the next morning. Emotions were high and yet I wasn't too worried.

A 96% later and I'm happy to report it was EXTREMELY easy, but maybe that's just me. Oh, and no one failed. Jason got a 94% too. And my roomies both got low 90s.

That's it for this week... sadly in two weeks I don't have much to write about. Next week should be pretty good especially since Friday is visitor's day!