UMKC hosted its 14th annual Criminal Justice and Criminology Career Expo on Wednesday, offering students information about careers, internships and volunteer opportunities within the field.
Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney, gave the keynote address and opened the event with a call-to-action.
“I need people like you not to give up,” Baker said. “Not to just accept that this is the amount of crime in Kansas City that just happens.”
She likened crime to the flu, which can be prevented by taking precautions such as getting a flu shot and washing your hands. She asked those in attendance to apply that kind of thought process to crime.
Baker also urged the audience not to leave victims behind when crimes occur or overly judge what a victim must look like.
The expo featured 34 organizations from law enforcement, courts and corrections, private security, non-profit groups and UMKC educational organizations such as the Criminal Justice and Criminology (CJC) Club.
The CJC club is a student-led organization open to all majors. The club hosts events and activities throughout the year and provides many opportunities for networking.
Junior Sarah Towakoli, president of the club, said one of her favorite things about it is the valuable connections she’s made.
“I’ve gotten to know professors on a more personal level,” Towakoli said. “I got my first job from one of my professors.”
In addition to the CJC Club, some of the busiest tables at the expo were the Kansas City Police Department and FBI Careers.
Junior CJC major Reginald Walker enjoyed getting to hear from someone with as much experience as Baker and was pleased with how his first time attending the event went.
“I like having all the different organizations here,” Walker said. “It’s been a good experience.”