The Department’s GSA hosts Busted event

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On February 6, 2014 the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology’s Graduate Student Association, in conjunction with the Graduate and Professional Student Association and the WSU chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, presented the second annual “Busted” event. The “Busted” event has two primary goals. The first goal is to educate students about their rights when interacting with law enforcement. The event began with the viewing of “Busted! The citizen’s guide to surviving police encounters” (produced by, which provides a variety of police-citizen encounter scenarios. The video provides a general structure for the second goal of the event, which is an open dialogue between students and a panel of local experts. This year’s panel was comprised of Dr. Craig Hemmens, who shared his knowledge as both an attorney and a criminal justice professor, Ms. Shaakirrah Sanders, who shared her knowledge as a law professor at the University of Idaho College of Law, and WSU police chief Bill Gardner who provided a unique perspective on policing in general and campus policing in particular.

The dialogue between the students and the panel was the highlight of the event. The panelists addressed a variety of important questions ranging from appropriate questioning practices to the recent marijuana legislation in Washington. The event allowed for unique opportunities for discussion and discourse both between students and the panel, as well as between panelists. Through the discussion, students learned how to properly assert their rights, differences between state and federal practices, and the current debates regarding these issues at both levels.

Overall, this year’s event was very successful. Despite a lower attendance than last year, this year’s discussion was rich and informative. Students were eager to learn, panelists were engaging and insightful, and the topics that were discussed were applicable to all who attended. While the main event provided a wealth of knowledge, the continued discussions following the event provided graduate students with an opportunity to discuss the issues in a more critical manner with the panelists.

The Graduate Student Association would like thank Dr. Hemmens, Ms. Sanders and Chief Gardner for their participation in this event. We hope that the “Busted” event can continue to be a learning opportunity in the years to come.