Perspectives on law enforcement: Students organize Law & Justice Day at Rowan

Students in Alpha Phi Sigma, the law and justice honor society, are bringing together some of the most intriguing components of law enforcement during Law and Justice Day at Rowan University on Thursday, Oct. 7.

A helicopter lands, a car crashes, the SWAT team shows up and the bomb squad is coming. That isn’t a scene from the latest action movie. Instead, those police activities—and more--are planned for Law and Justice Day at Rowan University on Thursday, Oct. 7.

Students in Alpha Phi Sigma, the law and justice honor society, decided to organize the event to bring together some of the most intriguing components of law enforcement. Law and Justice Day is co-sponsored by Rowan's Department of Public Safety.

“We really want this event to show the campus community the different opportunities that are available with a degree in law and justice studies,” said Alpha Phi Sigma President Nicholas Mueller, 21, from Lanoka Harbor, a senior dual major in law and justice studies and economics with a concentration in Honors . “This event will be both educational and entertaining.”

Altogether, 17 police agencies will be represented at the event. They include the N.J. State Forest Fire Service, Gloucester County Special Weapons & Tactics Team, Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Emerald Society and police departments from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Students will be able to witness live demonstrations from these groups and interact with the law enforcement officials who carry out these tactics in the real world.

The daylong event is open to the Rowan and outside communities. At 9 a.m., the NJSP Pipes and Drums Band will start the day, followed by Rowan senior music major Jessica Rose Cohn, who will sing the national anthem.

New Jersey Senator Fred H. Madden, Jr. a Rowan law and justice studies alumnus and former lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police, will give the opening remarks. A helicopter landing on the Rowan intramural sports field will begin a series of demonstrations by a K-9 unit, SWAT team, bomb unit and forensic unit.

The final demonstration, slated for 2 p.m., will be a crash investigation analysis of a mock vehicular homicide. A car will drive into a pedestrian traffic dummy, creating a crime scene. Investigators will explain the how different aspects of the crime scene are used to determine the cause of the accident. Math, physics and engineering help investigators by providing information about speed, road surface and other factors that impact the crash, according to Nadine Connell, assistant professor of criminal justice and advisor to Alpha Phi Sigma.   

“Last spring, the students were talking about how they wanted to do an event that would involve the whole campus community,” said Connell. “They wanted to do something that would showcase the complexities of the field of criminal justice, highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the field and be a lot of fun for everyone involved.”

According to Connell, Alpha Phi Sigma is dedicating Law & Justice Day to the memory of the recently deceased K-9s Rocky, who served in Mantua Township’s K-9 unit, and Brixx, who served in Clayton’s K-9 unit.

For more information contact Connell at or (856) 256-4500, extension 3536.