Lower Columbia College has secured some of the area's top criminal justice officials as speakers in this winter's Community Conversations lecture series, which begins Thursday at the college.
Titled "Law, Order and the Public Good," the weekly series will examine the roles of various branches of the criminal justice system from the police to the courts to the jails, said LCC instructor Jerry Zimmerman, who organizes the series.
"It puts a face on the people (who) are involved in law enforcement," Zimmerman said.
The lectures are free to the public and will be held each Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. at the Wollenberg Auditorium inside the Rose Center for the Performing Arts. The series runs through March 17.
This is the eighth lecture series Zimmerman has organized at LCC, with a new one starting each quarter. Each lecture attracts between 50 and 100 people, Zimmerman said.
Speakers for the upcoming series include police chiefs from Longview and Kelso, Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson and Superior Court Judge James Stonier.
Zimmerman said the series will give people a chance to learn how law enforcement works.
In Thursday's opener, Nelson will discuss the public's perception of law enforcement.
"I'm not exactly sure what the public thinks," Zimmerman said. "I think sometimes people get the impression that it's something like you see on ‘CSI' or ‘NYPD (Blue),' and its not really like that."
He said the officials jumped at the opportunity to speak in the series.
"I think they want the public to know what they do," he said.
Zimmerman said the lecture series also helps attract nonstudents to the college.
Scheduled speakers for ‘Law, Order and the Public Good'
Jan. 13: "Public Perception of Law Enforcement," by Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson.
Jan. 20: "New Technologies and Changes," by Kelso Police Chief Andy Hamilton.
Jan. 27: "The Role of the Public Defender," by public defender Terry Mulligan.
Feb. 3: "Participants in the Criminal Justice System," by Superior Court Judge James Stonier.
Feb. 10: "Raising Ethical, Responsible Kids," by Longview Police Chief Alex Perez.
Feb. 17: "The State of Corrections in Cowlitz County," by Marin Fox Hight, director of the Cowlitz County Corrections Department.
Feb. 24: "An Overview of the Juvenile Justice System in Cowlitz County," by Chad Connors, juvenile court administrator.
March 3: "The Children's Justice and Advocacy Center," by Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur.
March 10: "The Mental Health Court," by Superior Court Judge Michael Evans.
March 17: "An Overview of Emergency Management Services," by Grover Laseke, Cowlitz County director of emergency management.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!