Successful Criminal Justice Summit at WHS

Posted on 11/09/2016

Criminal Justice Career Summit
Waco High School
CTE Criminal Justice Academy
Summary Complements of Criminal Justice Students

On Friday, October 28th, the Waco High CTE Criminal Justice Academy hosted their first ever Criminal Justice Career Summit. This summit included very highly respected individuals in the criminal justice career field, namely, Waco ISD Chief Ken Boatman, Waco Police Chief Frank Gentsch, Sheriff McNamara, McLennan County Probation Officers Mr. and Mrs. John Grusendorf, TX State Police Officer Gary Durham, District Attorney Abel Reyna, US Border Patrol Agent Aaron Morgan, ATF Agent Derrick McCullough, DEA Agent Steve Robertson, and FBI Agent Daniel Tichenor. The CTE Criminal Justice Academy was also proud to have Tarleton University to join them.

Chief Ken Boatman has been with the Waco Independent School District police department since 1999. He was appointed to the WISD in October 2011. He is currently the longest serving peace officer in Waco ISD history.

Sheriff Parnell McNamara, whose family has been in law enforcement for over a hundred and ten years, has over thirty-two years of front line law enforcement experience with the U.S. Marshall Service. Fifteen of those years, he has
served as deputy in charge.  Sheriff McNamara has also worked closely with the television program “America’s Most Wanted”.

Chief Frank Gentsch, Chief of the Waco Police Department, began his law enforcement career as a police cadet for the city of Waco in 1980. On August 1, 2016, he was appointed to serve as an interim chief of the Waco Police Department. Chief Gentsch has served 36 years with the Waco Police Department.

Our next two speakers were from McLennan County
Probation and Parole, Mr. John Grusendorf and Mrs. Herlinda Grusendorf. Mr. Grusendorf has worked in the Criminal Justice field for over twenty years. He is currently a supervisor assigned to court and presence investigation unit, as well as a LSCD firearm coordinator. He is also a
DWI educator and drug offender education instructor. Mrs. Grusendorf has worked in the criminal justice field for over twenty years. She is also a DWI intervention and Drug Offender Education Instructor. Herlinda is currently working on getting certified as a silenced chemical dependency counselor.

Agent Aaron Morgan has been with the Border Patrol for two years. He travels the Texas border working border security. His work varies from counties to roadway, stolen vehicles, stolen property, and much more.

Abel Reyna is a McLennan County criminal district attorney; he was elected in November 2010 and took office in January 2011. Abel’s courtroom success in the area of criminal law has been recognized across the state of Texas through “Texas Monthly” magazine. This has named Abel a Texas Super Lawyer “rising star” for 6 consecutive years.

FBI Agent Daniel Tichenor was more informative; he explained to the students that the FBI has a long process of application. Agent Tichenor taught the students that the FBI won’t investigate just a single federal crime, but investigate the whole group from the root.

  Agent Derrick McCullar of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has a master’s in Fine Arts and a bachelor’s of science degree in Criminal Justice. He has been employed as a special agent with the ATF for two years. Prior to working as an ATF agent, he worked as a police officer in Houston for seven years. He held positions on the SWAT Team, Gang Unit, and Impact Unit. Agent Steve Robertson of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)
has been working for the DEA since 1988. He has served in Waco for 8 years and in total has served for twenty-eight years.

Each speaker presented a presentation that gave each student an in-depth visual walk through each of their career fields. They each gave a testimony of their lives before entering criminal justice and what brought them to where they are today.The career summit was very informative, engaging, and it sparked a great interest in the students. It gave the students an opportunity to see a broader scope of the criminal justice system. It helped them to see that criminal justice careers can be extensive.

The students really enjoyed having all of these careers presented to them. One student quoted, “It was truly a magnificent experience and it was great having everyone that presented to us, take time out of there day to come speak with us about their careers, their achievements, and their line of work.

As Coach Coleman always says, “You will never have an opportunity like this ever again.” What he says is very true, the summit happened for the first time in Waco High history. It’s not everyday that students get the opportunity to hear and learn collectively from people who actually hold these positions. The students got an opportunity to experience a day in the life of each speaker through visual presentation and thorough answers to each question the students raised. Overall, the summit was a huge success and the students appreciated that it was all made possible for them.