Criminal justice gets bounty hunting experience

Staff Writer

Jarrett Quick

For students in DMACC’s Criminal Justice Program, the Criminal Justice Club offers many opportunities to get hands on experience in the field.

As a part of the club, members have the opportunity to run or take part in events ranging from touring the old Polk County jail to ride-alongs with local law enforcement to do mock traffic stops.

“we try to offer a broad range of events over the school year to help give members a hands-on account of what the world of Criminal Justice is all about,” Criminal Justice Club president Scott Pueshel said.

The club is a collaboration with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office with the goal of practical application towards criminal justice in mind.

“In March we had the opportunity to volunteer at KidsFest in Des Moines. Club members stood at the Polk County Sheriffs booth and assisted with handing out toys and brochures.” Pueschel said.

Some members have even chosen to use their experience in the club outside of the program, like vice president Andrew Cooper’s spring break job of hunting bounties.

“I got involved [in bounty hunting] through friends of friends. One of my close friends had a buddy that had worked as a bounty hunter before and I was brought in as secondary help,” Cooper said.

Cooper came to DMACC after injuring his arm while working as a correctional officer. As a result, the convenience and ease of access to the Criminal Justice program have worked well for him.

“The program is great for the fact that it prepares you for actual law enforcement, the actual laws and training techniques you’ll need in the field, but jobs like bounty hunting and repo are more gut instinct,” Cooper said.

The criminal justice program and club focus on the procedure and law side of the field, but the program is beginning to cover more ground.

“We have two classes that are hands on for how to process a crime scene, but that’s still minimum work,” Cooper said.

After finishing the Criminal Justice Program, Cooper is hoping to become a state trooper and eventually U.S. Marshall.

For students interested in more information about the club, there will be a meet and greet on April 8th. Local law enforcement will be in attendance to answer questions about careers in crinal justice and the real-world application of what’s taught in the program. The Criminal Justice club also has a page on the DMACC website at go.dmacc.edu/programs/criminaljustice/club which includes job openings and advisor contact information.

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