Rowan College at Gloucester County

RCGC Crime Busters — On the Case with the New Jersey State Police

College Relations, Communications, and Marketing
Deptford Twp.
Date: 10/29/2018
people in front of police signNew Jersey State Police Lieutenant Mike Peterson, commander of the Real Time Crime Center – South, with 3+1 Law & Justice interns Kimberly Duzan and Nicholas Pino inside the RCGC Law & Justice Education Center. As interns, Duzan and Pino assisted law enforcement officers performing data collection and monitoring information 10 hours a week for 15 weeks.

Criminals beware — Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) Law & Justice 3+1 students Kimberly Duzan and Nicholas Pino are on the case, learning about the criminal justice system, criminology theories, trends and outcomes as interns at the Real Time Crime Center– South, a subsidiary of the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations & Intelligence Center (ROIC). 

Duzan, of Sewell, and Pino, of East Greenwich, are the first RCGC graduates to participate in the Law & Justice internship as part of the College's new 3+1 program with premier partner Rowan University. To be eligible for the New Jersey State Police / RCGC internship, students must be in their junior year of the 3+1 Law & Justice program pursuing a four-year degree. Students enrolled in 3+1 programs complete three years of coursework at RCGC and their senior year at Rowan University, earning a bachelor's degree for less than $30,000.

ROIC opened the Real Time Crime Center in collaboration with RCGC in February 2017. Located in the College's Law & Justice Education Center, the regional information and intelligence sharing center provides federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies access to a network of technology and tactical information. Crime and threat-related data are exchanged and information shared in order to create a "real time" picture focused on establishing patterns of criminal activity. As law enforcement agencies and investigators enhance skills and intelligence work to support state, county and municipalities within the tristate area, RCGC students are also benefitting from the partnership.

"I couldn't believe it when I was selected for the internship," said Duzan, who was enrolled in RCGC's two-year Paralegal program before deciding to transfer to the new 3+1 Law & Justice bachelor's degree option. "The officers are helpful and great to work with. I learned how the different departments work together. It has been a very interesting experience." Duzan worked in the banking industry for 12 years before returning to college as a full-time student and is considering a career as a criminal intelligence analyst or working with attorneys in a position that integrates her paralegal and criminal justice knowledge. 

"The 3+1 program offers everyone — whether a traditional college student or a nontraditional student like me — an affordable way to earn a four-year degree. It has been an amazing opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree as a nontraditional student and mother," said Duzan.

Like Duzan, Pino also began his college education pursuing a different major — music industry at Rowan University. The next semester the Kingsway Regional High School graduate and NJ STAR decided to change his major and transferred to RCGC to enroll in the 3+1 program.

"I loved every second of the internship," said Pino. "For me, it was a really cool experience. I interacted daily with seven to eight officers. Everyone was awesome to work with and helpful explaining how to do things, which made the internship a lot easier. I like looking at the data and analyzing crime. My career goal is to pursue a master's degree in criminology and become a crime analyst. This experience will look good on my resume. "

During the summer, Duzan and Pino worked alongside state police, FBI and local law enforcement 10 hours a week for 15 weeks experiencing firsthand how a true intelligence task force operates. They participated in the morning "huddle," getting updated and briefed with the other officers. Under the guidance of State Police Lieutenant Pete Mosteller, coordinator of the internship, and Lieutenant Mike Peterson, commander of the Real Time Crime Center — South, Duzan and Pino performed data collection, open source searches, tracked shootings and updated arrest, conviction and homicide information.

"I love it," said Peterson, who as commander of the crime center assigned work to Duzan and Pino, scheduling their day-to-day tasks. "The students provide extra hands and help us sift through the data quicker. They assist with monitoring information and looking for pattern and trends. Strategies are based on outcomes and finding where efforts need to be focused."

RCGC 3+1 Law & Justice students in their junior year of college are accepted into the internship program based on their grades and an interview with Mosteller. Students are required to be fingerprinted and complete background checks before attending a State Police internship orientation in Trenton where they are instructed on the importance of confidentiality. The State Police's campus partnership with RCGC provides six student internships a year, two per the spring, summer and fall semesters.

 "Police have access to a lot of high-level databases. It was challenging at times assigning projects," admitted Peterson. "Kim and Nick built spreadsheets and created PowerPoints that were very valuable. They worked on smaller, individual parts important to a bigger project, sometimes not seeing the whole picture. One assignment consisted of compiling a list of cameras located in a specific area to create an interactive map. Another was a presentation produced for law enforcement."

"The College's 3+1 Law & Justice program is very unique and we are able to take it one step further with the opportunity to be involved with the internship," said Mosteller. "The Real Time Crime Center — South is the only intelligence agency on a New Jersey college campus. This offers a great experience for the students to help them identify future career and educational goals."

"The addition of the Real Time Crime Center to the campus has enhanced the collaborative partnership already existing between the College and law enforcement," stated RCGC President Frederick Keating. "Our alliance with the New Jersey State Police continues to assist in the effort to keep people safe and protect the community while exposing RCGC students to current investigative tools and trends. Our Law & Justice students gain hands-on training, learning about state-of-the-art technologies that analyze data and prepare them for future employment in the criminal justice field."

For more information on the Law & Justice 3+1 program, visit RCGC.edu/3plus1.

Rowan College at Gloucester County is located at 1400 Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.