A founding program at UNT Dallas, the Criminal Justice department last Friday pulled off its third annual Career Expo on a stunning fall day that included 1,100 students representing eight area school districts.
The CJ Day event is one of the largest of its kind in North Texas, attracting 75 local, state, federal and private criminal justice agencies that set up informational tables inside Founders Hall. Outside, was the real show took place, with the various branches of law enforcement displaying their heavy-duty vehicles. Texas Department of Public Safety, the Dallas Police Department and CareFlite all flew in helicopters that landed on the soccer field. The Mesquite Police Department brought its mobile command center and numerous other departments and agencies showed off bomb squads, K-9 units and various law enforcement and emergency vehicles.
"The third annual University of North Texas at Dallas Criminal Justice Career Expo was another success," said criminal justice professor, Dr. Aaron Bartula, "The event brought together 1,100 local area high schools representing eight different ISDs, and local college students with 75 local, state federal and private criminal justice agencies to introduce the many criminal justice career opportunities available, as well as discuss the realities of what their respective careers entail."
At a time when it is increasingly difficult for police departments to recruit new officers, when relationships between law enforcement and many communities – in particular minority communities -- are often strained, UNT Dallas’ Criminal Justice Career Expo offers an opportunity for students to engage in a positive way with criminal justice professionals and gain first-hand knowledge of their jobs, as well as learn about the wide-ranging career opportunities available with a criminal justice degree.
UNT Dallas’ growing student body is 85 percent minority with the majority hailing from the southern Dallas sector. All of the students that attended are involved in criminal justice programs at their respective schools, and have a keen interest in a career in criminal justice.