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OCU to Host Violent Crime and Terrorist Threat Conference
The topic of terrorism has might not be on the forefront of everyone’s mind in the U.S. lately, but that certainly doesn’t mean it no longer exists. “The threat of terrorism hasn’t gone completely away,” said Dr. Howard Kurtz, Oklahoma City University professor of criminology and sociology. “It’s still important to educate the public on what to look out for, and to learn some of the ways we can protect ourselves and our families.” To that end, OCU’s Department of Sociology and Justice Studies is hosting the Violent Crime and Terrorist Threat Conference Nov. 12. The conference is sponsored by the FBI Infraguard, which will also have a sizeable presence at the event with several guest speakers who will talk about their various fields of specialty. “The other overall theme is about violence and how it relates to Oklahoma. It’s a pretty interesting presentation. The gang network in the state is more extensive than most people think - some gangs are ethnic based while others are more based on territorial purposes. People would be surprised at how far the gang issue has reached,” Kurtz added. Another hot topic that will be addressed, he said, is profiling school shooters, an issue that has been heavily discussed in law enforcement circles since the Virginia Tech shootings a year and a half ago. Other topics include weapons of mass destruction, evidence and SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). “Number one is that this is a public service, but it’s also good for our students to listen to people who are in the same fields they’re planning to go into,” Kurtz said. “We’ve taken the FBI’s advice on what to do and what not to do with this conference. We’re basically using their curriculum.” While OCU students will be beneficiaries of the conference - some of whom are among the first to participate in the university’s new justice studies major track - the event is also open to the public, and law officers who participate will be eligible for CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) credit hours. The conference is free, but lunch is $5 and requires a reservation. Send an e-mail to sfoster.stu1@okcu.edu to RSVP. The conference is from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 12 and will be held in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of OCU’s Meinders School of Business. Go to www.okcu.edu/petree/soc/ to learn more about the conference and the OCU Department of Sociology and Justice Studies.