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Criminal Justice Center
Establishes New Training Institute

The creation of a new law enforcement training arm of the Criminal Justice Center has been announced by Richard H. Ward, dean and director of the Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University. The new program area will be known as the Institute for Law Enforcement Training (ILET), and will be on line by August 1.

"This new institute will give us the flexibility and outreach to the law enforcement community we need to have in the new millennium, not only in Texas, but across the nation and even internationally," Ward said.

ILET will join other established institutes at the Criminal Justice Center, including the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, the National Institute for Victim Studies, and the Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). While the highly regarded Blackwood Institute is limited by its charter primarily to the training of managers and executives within the state of Texas, ILET will be able to travel outside Texas and address other law enforcement ranks and specialties as well, Ward explained.

The new institute continues an impressive tradition of law enforcement training at Sam Houston State University which dates back over 20 years. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the CJC Police Academy provided in-service training that attracted participants from Maine to California, and others from as far away as New Zealand and Micronesia. When the Blackwood Institute was moved to SHSU in 1993, management and executive training immediately became priorities.

"The world has become smaller, and it is once again time to expand our horizons to meet the global training challenge in law enforcement. ILET will be the vehicle to accomplish this," Ward said. "The new institute will be a separate and distinct entity from other institutes within the Center, although it may work collaboratively with them at times."

The director of ILET will be Gene Blair. Blair moves from his position as assistant director of the Blackwood Institute, where he also served as project manager over Special Programs and the New Chief Development Program. Prior to his seven years with LEMIT, Blair was coordinator of the CJC Police Academy at SHSU for over ten years. During the 1970s, he was a criminal investigator in Jacksonville, Florida, and served as a counterintelligence special agent with the U.S. Army.

Blair holds two master's degrees and retired as a lieutenant colonel from the military intelligence branch of the U.S. Army Reserve. Since 1993 he has also been an adjunct faculty member of the College of Criminal Justice, teaching criminal investigation. "This is a new challenge with unlimited possibilities, and I am looking forward to it. We will be developing training to meet the needs of law enforcement in a rapidly changing world," Blair stated.

The Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University is one of the oldest and largest criminal justice programs in the country.

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SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
July 13, 2000
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