Peru State College
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News Release
Peru State criminal justice instructors, students win honors at regional American Criminal Justice Association Conference



(Peru, Neb.) Two Peru State College criminal justice students and their instructors recently won honors at the Chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association - Lambda Alpha Epsilon (ACJA-LAE) Regional Conference in Garden City, Kan.

Students competed in written examinations, a physical agility course and a crime scene investigation scenario. They also attended seminars by criminal justice professionals on topics such as homicide investigation - cadaver exploration, forensic wounds - moulage, interview and interrogation, fingerprinting, critical decision making - firearms simulator, tactics and entry techniques, CSI - evidence collection and trauma first aid.

Peru State’s Kappa Omicron Rho chapter took home the High Percentage Sweepstakes Trophy, which is presented to the school that scores the most points in relation to the number of members participating in the competition. Peru State had five students and two instructors participate.

Students representing Peru State in the competition are listed below along with their year, hometown, major and awards.

  • Heather Black Eagle, Senior – Peru – Criminal Justice Counseling & Psychology
    • Black Eagle won first place in the juvenile justice exam category for the upper division.
  • Tairi Ferguson, Senior - Hamburg, Iowa – Criminal Justice Administration & Psychology
  • Jacob Hedden, Senior – Johnson – Criminal Justice Administration & Counseling
  • Andrew Horn, Senior, Verdon – Criminal Justice Counseling
    • Horn won second place in the physical agility course for the 26-35 age group.
  • Jacob Wiers, Senior – Pawnee City – Criminal Justice Administration

Black Eagle said, “I really enjoyed regionals this year as it takes me one step closer to my graduation and re-entrance into the professional world. The crime scenes were very realistic and the actors were wonderful. I was surprised and honored to take first place in the juvenile delinquency test in the upper level division. I am so thankful to my excellent instructors at Peru State who have given me a great introduction to the world that I will be joining soon. I look forward to studying up in the next few months to take nationals by storm with my awesome teammates!”

Hedden said, "The hands-on exercises were very realistic and the skills that we learned will serve us well in our future careers. They also gave us ideas to bring back to Peru State that will enhance the learning experience for all criminal justice students."

Faculty participants included Criminal Justice Instructors Danny Hayes and Ronicka Schottel. Hayes and Schottel won first place and second place, respectively, in the physical agility course in the 26-35 age group. In the professional division, Hayes won second place in the police administration exam, second place in Lambda Alpha Epsilon knowledge exam and third place in the corrections exam.

Hayes said, “This was an excellent opportunity for our students to gain some experience during the workshops that will make them more comfortable in performing the duties that are necessary for their future courses or careers. I am extremely proud of the way these students represented Peru State, bringing positive attention to our school and our outstanding criminal justice program.”

For more information about Peru State’s criminal justice program, contact Hayes at 402-872-2307 or