Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Police Deputy Commissioner spotlights Philadelphia law enforcement trends

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Deputy Commissioner Bethel
and I posed for a photo
We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel of the Philadelphia Police Department to the College. He came to speak to Peirce Criminal Justice students, Paralegal students, and faculty about charting a career in the law enforcement profession, and what students need to do to be successful in the field.

Deputy Commissioner Bethel ignited a very engaging conversation, and he covered key topics that students pursuing careers in law enforcement should be aware of. For those who weren’t able to make it to the event, here is a snapshot of a few subjects that he covered.
  • The evolution of GIS mapping and its increasing importance to the profession. Geographic information systems (GIS) mapping refers to using data-driven analytics to examine the geographic features of locations for solving crimes and preventing them from happening. The Philadelphia Police Department began using this technology to map crime trends and allocate resources to counter crime in those areas. This is becoming an increasingly important part of law enforcement, and those looking to get into the field should be well versed in the benefits of this technology.
  • The use of the community policing method. The old method of law enforcement is referred to as the “cracked window” theory. Officers would drive around neighborhoods with their windows cracked, but wouldn’t get out of their cars. The point was to show that there was a police presence, and it often ended there. Now, officers are encouraged to use the “community policing” method. This involves getting out of their police cars, walking around the neighborhood, and engaging with the community to better know what’s going on and what needs to be investigated.
These are some of the major trends impacting police departments in Philadelphia and across the country. As such, they’re included in the topics we cover in our Criminal Justice classes. Deputy Commissioner Bethel is aware of these issues and was able to provide in-depth insight for how they’re specifically affecting the Philadelphia Police Department.

KNOWLEDGE SHARING: The Deputy Commissioner covered
law enforcement industry trends
Deputy Commissioner Bethel also covered the requirements for applying to the Philadelphia Police Academy. One of those requirements is having 60 academic credits to gain a solid foundation in law enforcement theory before entering the academy. This exemplifies the importance of Criminal Justice programs like ours.

We’re very proud that the Philadelphia Police Department sent Deputy Commissioner Bethel to the College to speak with our students and help them become better prepared for their careers after graduation. We hope everyone who attended gained a valuable perspective from one of Philadelphia's own, and learned more about what it means to be a part of the Philadelphia Police Department.

We have another informative session coming up for Criminal Justice students. NYPD’s Counterterrorism Unit will be presenting on Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Terrorism Awareness and Hostile Surveillance. We’ll be sharing more about that event as the time gets closer.

Thank you to all who came out to our evening with Deputy Commissioner Bethel!