Criminal Justice Degree students in Ft. Worth get hands-on training in facial recognition and more Contributed by Joy Cornwell, Campus Librarian The Olympic spirit was alive and well once again in Fort Worth on March 14 and 15, 2011, as our Criminal Justice instructors held their second annual "Criminal Justice Olympics" to enhance program interest and expose students to program activities taking place at the Campus. Criminal Justice students were grouped into four teams of morning students and two teams of evening students. Awards were given to individuals placing first through fourth in each event in the morning competitions and first and second place in the evening events, along with an award for best all-around team. Among the events was one called Facial Recognition, which allows the user to create and re-create billions of composite images of human faces. Facial features selected from a database are automatically combined to produce a photo-quality composite image. The technology helps law enforcement agencies identify, track, and apprehend suspects. First-place winner Tammy Manning explained how to use the software: "We sit down with the victim of a crime, and they explain what the perpetrator looked like. We then choose the facial features as described, like a long forehead or a prominent chin, and we essentially draw an image of the criminal right in front of them." Laser Shot, Fingerprint and Handwriting Analysis, and Shoe Impressions were the other featured events. Laser Shot training is employed by thousands of military and law enforcement agencies around the world every day. Unique scenarios enable progressive training, from realistic laser-based engagements to ultra-realistic live-fire exercises. The "EC Hustlers" took first place in the evening Laser Shot competition, scoring 131 total points, while the second-place team, "False Arrest," scored a total of 86 points. Fingerprint analysis has been used for identification purposes for over a century and has been a key component to law enforcement for many years: Demetria Jackson and Raul Gutierrez took first place in that event. Handwriting analysis is a projective technique, like body language, which can profile human behavior in the areas of social skills, thinking styles, achievement/work habits, and possible ways of dealing with stress. Sharonda Davis and Janeth Garica took first place honors in the morning and evening competitions, respectively. For Shoe Impressions, the first-place winners were Joshua Grimes in the morning competition and Rolando Mesta in the evening competition. Forensic footwear evidence can be used in legal proceedings to help prove the identities of persons at a crime scene. Kimberly Butler, Criminal Justice Instructor said, "The CJ Olympics gives our students an opportunity to compete using the skills they've learned in class." Student participation exceeded expectations, and the event promoted greater camaraderie and created an even stronger Criminal Justice student presence on Campus.