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Career fair introduces students to public safety job opportunities

DATE: 03-02-2011

Criminal justice major Laura Simmons said she always felt drawn to the corrections professions and conversations with representatives from New York State correctional, parole, and probation departments during the first-ever Public Safety Career Fair at Cayuga Community College only strengthened her desire.

“I learned that a bunch of counties will be holding their civil service exams soon,” Simmons said. “I am going to graduate in May, so I definitely will be taking these tests and hopefully getting a job.”

Simmons participates in the Cayuga’s Criminal Justice Club (CJ Club), a 25-member student organization that co-sponsored the March 2 career fair with the Cayuga Public Safety Office.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done a public safety career fair,” said Professor Teri Misiaszek, CJ Club advisor. “We wanted to provide students a way to interact and network with professionals who can provide a true perspective about what it’s like to work in this field. Many students have taken advantage of this opportunity to have their questions answered. I’m very pleased with the turnout.”

Syracuse Police Officer Tavores Flournory said his table had a pretty steady stream of traffic and he was pleased with the list of names of people with whom he shared information. The Syracuse department has experienced more than a dozen retirements in the past year and expects more this year. It was one of 16 public safety agencies from across New York State that was represented at the event.

“We’re trying to encourage students to take the civil service exam and also to tell them what to expect in the application process,” Flournory said. “In addition to the written text, they’ll have to do physical agility tests, and have a background check and a polygraph test. Integrity is very important. But the most important quality to be a successful cop is that you must enjoy people.”

Lt. Tim Quinn of the Auburn Correctional Facility talked about the career opportunities at New York’s 67 correctional facilities, highlighting good benefits, salary, and job security. Quinn also said he had some visitors who stopped by to simply learn more about the prison’s history.

“Auburn is the oldest continuously running prison in the country,” Quinn said. “We were also the first prison in the world to house inmates in single cells. “The prison has lots of history.”

Criminal Justice Club Senator and criminal justice major Kari Seamans, who graduates in May, said she was pleased with a recent influx of new members to the club and hopes that the freshman members will continue the career fair next year.

“We were happy that 16 organizations came to campus to meet with us,” she said. “This was a great event.”