Mission of the Criminal Justice Department:

The Criminal Justice Department is committed to a curriculum that incorporates salient domestic and international issues to equip students with the theoretical, practical and technical knowledge necessary for a successful career in law enforcement, criminal courts or corrections, within a curriculum which emphasizes cultural diversity and individual differences.

History of the Criminal Justice Department:

When crime rates began to increase in the 1960s and 1970s, the federal government responded by increasing education and licensure of law enforcement personnel. The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) provided funding for enhancement officer training and education. In the early 1970s, Arthur Neiger, director of the Bureau of School and Community College Services, received an LEAA grant to conduct a two-week training academy for working police officers. Eventually, the Northern faculty took the training program across the region as a 16-week Regional Training Academy. 

In 1962, Neiger developed an associate degree program in law enforcement, as well as a two-year police science curriculum. When administrators in corrections, security and conservation caught on to the trend, a curriculum was created in these aspects of criminal justice, and two and four-year degrees were offered in law enforcement or corrections/private security. The Michigan Board of Education approved the four-year criminal justice program in the fall of 1974. 

By the spring of 1977, Criminal Justice was named a department in the then School of Arts and Sciences. Later it was attached to the College of Behavioral Sciences, Human Services, and Education. In 1992, the department was renamed Justice Studies, only to return to its original name in 1995. 

Today, NMU continues to offer each summer the Regional Training Academy and throughout the year the Police Institute Training, for current police officers and police administrators.

In fall 2007, Northern began to offer a Bachelor in Loss Prevention Management degree, a completely online program. It is the first loss prevention bachelor’s degree in the United States and was developed, in part, by an advisory board made up of some of the largest retailers in the nation. In 2016, the department created a new minor in Wildlife Conservation Law and Policing for aspiring conservation officers. This minor is one of the first in the nation.

Department chairs or heads: Ken Fauth, 1977-1981; Robert Barrington, 1981-1987; Donald Lee, (acting) 1987-1989, 1989-1991; David Kalinich, 1992-1997; Paul Lang, 1997- 2006, Greg Warchol, (acting) 2006-2007, Dale Kapla, 2007-2012; Charles Mesloh, 2013-2015; Michael Harrington, 2015-2017; Bob Hanson, 2017-present.

Source: A Sense of Time: The Encyclopedia of Northern Michigan University