Bachelor of Criminal Justice

Criminalistics

Study and evaluate physical evidence from crime scene to courtroom, following the strictest legal and scientific evidence processing rules. If in-depth, intense study of physical evidence is your calling, then the criminalistics program at TU is for you. We provide a solid foundation for your future in local, state and federal police departments, as well as private investigative services.

WHAT IS CRIMINALISTICS?

Criminalists are concerned with the reconstruction of crimes and the analysis of physical evidence. They must use a blend of investigative skills and practical experience. One of the primary functions of a criminalist is to properly identify and collect evidence in a wide variety of crime scenes. Combining scientific and legal methods taught in the classroom with actual experience, you will develop skills in identifying, sorting, comparing, interpreting and cataloging evidence for use in subsequent criminal proceedings.

Our criminalistics courses are uniquely designed as stepping stones throughout the major. You will collect evidence in classes and continue to analyze this evidence in subsequent classes. You begin to learn these processes in Introduction to Forensic Science, which opens you up to an overview of forensic science. Additional courses in the progression are Advanced Criminalistics, Evidence Processing and Trial Evidence. Throughout this progression, you will advance your experience from crime scene to the courtroom.

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA)

To be a sworn police officer in Ohio, you must successfully complete the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). Tiffin University partners with Terra State Community College to include the cost of the academy in tuition and can be earned in just one semester.

This unique training academy is state mandated for all police officers and covers firearms, legal administration, human relations, traffic, patrol, driving, subject control, investigations, civil disorder, physical conditioning and other aspects of law enforcement. Students apply direct, hands-on practice in the crime lab, firing range and police cruisers. With experienced, certified instructors and hands-on application, our students consistently achieve passing rates on the state-certified exam.

Once graduates of the program earn the certification, they are immediately eligible for full-time employment.

Testimonial

“Tiffin University gave me my best friend and pushed me to my highest potential. The OPOTA program put me ahead in the hiring process and my bachelor’s degree set me apart from other candidates.”

Cassidy Ralph
Hometown: Marion, Ohio
Graduation: Spring, 2019
Major: Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement
Position: Police Officer with the City of Marysville Division of Police

Core Curriculum of the School of Criminal Justice 18 hours

Criminalistics Major 49 hours

  • CDS334 Technology and Crime
  • ENF239 Applied Criminal Investigation & Criminalistics
  • ENF293 Criminology
  • ENF355 Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes
  • ENF420 Investigative Interviewing
  • ENF432 Death Investigations
  • ENF460 Evidence Processing
  • FSC115 Introduction to Forensic Science
  • FSC115L Introduction to Forensic Science Lab
  • JUS461 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • JUS465 Trial Evidence (Capstone)
  • NAT114 Survey of Science
  • NAT150 Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • NAT150L Human Anatomy and Physiology lab
  • NAT291 Drugs and the Body
  • PSY362 Abnormal Behavior
  • PSY101 Introduction to Psychology

Total Bachelor of Criminal Justice hours 121

 

This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

On Campus - Offered in a 15-week semester format with a start date of January and August

Online - Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October

There are no related concentrations available.

Information Security (CDS344) - This course will introduce information security as an essential component in our war against terrorism. All information must be secure or the probability of winning the war will be diminished. With advances in technology and software, cyber-terrorism has become very real. Computer hackers and terrorists can shut down our nation’s most critical infrastructures. There can be no doubt that cyber-terror can pose a very real threat to this nation’s security. Students will become familiar with the entire arena of information security.

Survey of Computer Forensics (CDS351) - This course will provide the student with an overview of current terms and concepts that form the basis for all computer investigations. A comparative analysis of computer forensics and other criminal forensic sciences will be conducted to provide the student understanding of the forensics field. The student will become familiar with computer hardware, operating systems, programming and networking (including a comprehensive review of internet protocols and routing). The course will conclude with a review of typical computer crimes and common computer intruder methods.

Applied Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics (ENF239) - Emphasis on the investigation of specific crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson. Students will be required to investigate a “mock” crime scene, collect and analyze evidence obtained and present their investigation in a “moot” court.

Advanced Criminalistics (ENF320) - This course focuses on crime scene investigative processes, methods, and procedures. It expands on the topics covered in FSC115 and ENF239. It offers the student the opportunity to apply scientific theory in a practical setting. Topics include the role of the first responder to the crime scene, methodologies to approaching the crime scene, crime scene analysis, a thorough overview of the gamut of physical evidence including blood and biological, impression, fingerprint, firearm, drug, digital, tool mark and trace evidence. Additionally, this course offers familiarization with specialized investigations including death, arson, mass fatalities and sex crimes investigations. It is designed with the duties of the field criminalist in mind.

Forensic Investigation of Sex Crimes (ENF355) - This course presents a detailed overview of the responsibilities of a sex crimes investigator including information regarding victim’s issues, legal issues, search and seizure issues as well as mechanics of a sexual assault investigation and secondary traumatic stress syndrome. This course will also examine different types of offenders and specific issues unique to sex crimes investigations.

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives
  • Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Coroner’s Office/ Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Forensic Laboratories in Police
  • Intelligence Agencies
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Private Forensic Agencies in Drug Enforcement
  • Secret Service
  • Sheriff’s Offices
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • U.S. Secret Service

While it is extremely competitive to obtain such appointments, TU alumni have gone on to careers in these agencies:

  • Federal Police Departments
  • Local Police Departments
  • Private Investigator
  • State Police Departments

If you want to learn more about our online or on-campus programs for working adults, click here.

Faculty

Sandra Miller
Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller, Ph.D.

millersj@tiffin.edu
419-448-3168

Assistant Professor of Criminology

Department Chair CJNS Undergraduate Seated

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., University of Toledo
  • M.S.C.J., Tiffin University
  • Ph.D., Northcentral University

Sandra Miller, Ph.D.

Sandra Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminology
Sandra Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminology
Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis

LewisMR@tiffin.edu
419-448-3305

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Executive Director of Crime Scene House

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Myers University, Criminal Justice
  • M.S., Tiffin University, Criminal Justice Administration
  • Walden University, Policy and Public Administration (ABD)

Michael Lewis

Michael R. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Prior to this appointment, Lewis retired as a police officer in Northeast Ohio where he served in various positions including the detective bureau, patrol division, swat unit, and hostage negotiations unit. Throughout his career as a distinguished lawman, Lewis received extensive administrative and tactical leadership training through the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy, Metro Dade Swat Unit, Def-Tech, Secret Service, and the FBI. He also has an extensive working background in grant writing, policy, and procedural development. As a former Swat Commander he wrote policy and has evaluated international tactical commands. Lewis is a certified Hostage Negotiator and has experience in peacefully resolving many critical incidents.

Additionally, Professor Lewis has taught and lectured extensively at various police academies and specializes in civil disturbances and riot control techniques. He maintains certifications and professional affiliations in the law enforcement community. Lewis proudly served as a Gunner's Mate in the United States Navy.

Professor Lewis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Management, and is completing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Homeland Security.

He has always valued the importance of formal education and has committed himself to a life of learning, growth, and public service. Additionally, Lewis was selected and successfully completed The Harvard University Kennedy School of Executive Leadership Program. He also attended the specialization program of Crisis Leadership at Harvard.

Lewis is a Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist through the Anti- Terrorism Accreditation Board and provides consulting services to the Department of Homeland Security. He also completed the Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Program at St. Petersburg College in Florida.

He has lectured nationally about current homeland security issues and has appeared on IGTV in New York City, Blog Talk Radio, and National Public Radio Shows as a guest speaker and contributor.

Michael Lewis
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Michael Lewis
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Scott Blough
Scott Blough

Scott Blough

BloughS@tiffin.edu
419-448-3330

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

Executive Director of Center for Cyber Defense & Forensics

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Mount Vernon Nazarene College
  • M.S., Tiffin University

Scott Blough

Scott Blough, CISSP serves as the Chief Information Security Officer and Executive Director of the Center for Cyber Defense & Forensics at Tiffin University where he is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Security Studies, specializing in cyber security and digital forensics, policy development, international crime, and security studies.  Professor Blough served as the National Co-Chair for the Maritime Risk Symposium 2017: Cyber Security in the Maritime Transportation System and was a member of the United States Coast Guard Research and Development Center’s Maritime Cyber University Partnership Effort: Fostering Collaboration, Research & Contributions to the Body of Knowledge. He serves as a Strategic Advisor to the Maritime and Port Security Information Sharing and Analysis Organization for cyber and international security issues. He was a featured speaker on unconventional cyber threats to national security in the maritime sector at the DHS Center of Excellence Summit. He has led research on unmanned aircraft and underwater vehicle cyber vulnerabilities for DHS Centers of Excellence. Additionally he has been a featured speaker on cyber security issues for the Arctic Domain Awareness Center Incidents of National Significance exercise. He has conducted cyber security training for the United States Coast Guard, CISO Exchange, and numerous government and not-for-profit organizations. He is a member of InfraGard; the Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee, where he is the Chair of the Governance Sub-Committee; the Information Systems Security Association Central Ohio Chapter; and is an active participant in the Information Security Summit. He served on the Criminal Justice Information Systems Advisory Board during the mid-1990’s and was actively involved in criminal justice information system integration and access projects where he developed the security policies and protocols for the initial Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway project. He obtained grant funding to establish a NIBRS compliant records management system at the Marion Police Department and was responsible for the overall administration and security of the integrated in-car mobile data terminals. He has also consulted on numerous security projects in large metropolitan areas and successfully investigated cases involving multi-million dollar fraud.

He has authored numerous publications on cyber security, international justice issues, and consults on cyber security, security and justice policy, technology application, and corrections issues. His publications include: “Maritime Risk Symposium 2017: Cyber Security in the Maritime Transportation System Proceedings” (2019); “Maritime Cyber Security: What About Forensics’, Issues in Maritime Cyber Security (2017); “Cyber Shoal Waters: Understanding and Meeting Emerging Cyber Threats to the Marine Transportation System”, Maritime Reporter and Engineering News (2017); “Maritime Cyber Security: The Wrong Formula”, Maritime Reporter and Engineering News (2017). He was also featured as a “Pick of the Week” for December 4-8, 2017 for an interview on maritime cyber security with the World Maritime News (2017).

Scott Blough
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Scott Blough
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Pete Piraino
Pete Piraino

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.

PirainoP@tiffin.edu
419-448-3395

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

Department Chair Criminal Justice Graduate Programs

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • Ph.D., Public Policy and Administration, Walden University
  • M.A., Governors State University
  • B.S., Western Illinois University

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.

Pete Piraino joined Tiffin University as a full-time Instructor in January, 2012. Professor Piraino teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security. Prior to becoming a full-time faculty member, he served at Tiffin as an adjunct instructor for three years.

Professor Piraino recently retired from the United States Secret Service, as Resident Agent in Charge of its Toledo Resident Office, overseeing Secret Service operations for the 21 counties of Northwest Ohio. Throughout his 23-year career with the Secret Service, he served in a variety of protective and investigative assignments that have taken him to over 40 countries on six continents.

Some of his managerial assignments in the Secret Service included positions in the Vice Presidential Protective Division in Washington, D.C. under then Vice President Cheney, as Protective Detail Leader for Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President, and in the Intelligence Division. Professor Piraino also served in the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division under Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Prior to his 12-year assignment in Washington, D.C., Professor Piraino served as Special Agent in the Chicago Field Office of the Secret Service investigating a variety of federal criminal violations including counterfeit currency, financial fraud, and threats against Secret Service protected persons. While assigned to the Chicago Field Office, he served as a supervisor on a year-long multi-agency undercover task force investigating USDA food stamp fraud throughout the Chicago area.

Prior to joining the Secret Service, Professor Piraino was a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) investigating arson for profit and federal firearms violations. Prior to that, he was a police officer in suburban Chicago for eight years.

Professor Piraino received a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. Professor Piraino earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. He is the recipient of numerous awards and citations throughout his 33 years as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Pete Piraino, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Dr. Lacy Ellis
Dr. Lacy Ellis

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.

EllisLK@tiffin.edu
419-448-3051

Associate Professor & Assistant Dean for Criminal Justice

CJSS Internship Coordinator

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.C.J., Tiffin University
  • M.S., Tiffin University
  • Ph.D. Walden University

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.

Dr. Lacy Ellis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Tiffin University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University focusing her studies on women in law enforcement.  Dr. Ellis comes to Tiffin University with previous teaching experience in both online, hybrid, and traditional seated classes.

Before pursuing academics, Dr. Ellis received her OPOTA Certification and served in a variety of positions within the criminal justice community. She started her career as an undercover narcotics agent working cases from street level to deep cover operations.  She served as an intelligence specialist, training at the DEA Academy in Quantico, Virginia, receiving the Federal Law Enforcement Analytical Training Certification. She also has experience in death investigation working as an investigator for Wayne County Coroner's Office. Dr. Ellis currently holds her commission with a local police department and works as a patrolman from time to time.  She is an ALICE Certified Instructor and conducts trainings for Active Shooter Response.

Dr. Ellis is a member of the American Society for Public Administration. Her research interests include the psychological effects of law enforcement, gender studies in law enforcement, motherhood and policy, active shooter response, and physical fitness.  She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband Charles, also in law enforcement, and their three children, Hunter, Olivia and Rayne.

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Assistant Dean for Criminal Justice
Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Assistant Dean for Criminal Justice
Kevin Cashen
Kevin Cashen

Kevin Cashen

cashenk@tiffin.edu
(419) 448-3322

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Security Studies

NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., The Ohio State University
  • M.C.J., The University of Alabama
  • M.A., The Naval Postgraduate School

Kevin Cashen

Assistant Professor Kevin Cashen teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security and has actively been involved in online learning. Mr. Cashen earned a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University, a Master of Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense) through the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Assistant Professor Cashen started his career in criminal justice as a correctional worker with the Lucas County Department of Work Release in 1983 and retired in August 2009 as the Chief of Police with the Norwalk Police Department. Mr. Cashen held various positions within the Norwalk Police Department to include patrol officer, detective, sergeant, captain, executive officer and chief. Assistant Professor Cashen attended the FBI National Academy and is a Certified Law Enforcement Executive through the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Assistant Professor Cashen is a member of various local and state boards and committees.

Kevin Cashen
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Kevin Cashen
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Charles White
Charles White

Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D.

WhiteCM@tiffin.edu
419-448-3500

Assistant Professor Criminal Justice

Department Chair CJNS Undergraduate Online/Off-Campus / ATIC & OPOTA Coordinator

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., Cleveland State University
  • M.S., University of Cincinnati
  • Ph.D., Capella University

Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D.

Dr. Charles “Mike” White currently works as an associate professor at Tiffin University. He is a certified polygraph examiner with specialties not only in polygraph examination but also in training and advising local and international police officers. Dr. White developed the search and seizure training for United Nations officers in Liberia West Africa and assisted in the development of curriculum at the Baghdad Police College in Iraq. He is a former detective as the Norwalk Ohio police department and served 8 years as the chief of the Monroeville Ohio police department. Dr. White was also served as the in country program director for American Rule of Law team in Liberia West Africa.

White has published articles on cost-benefit analysis and police ethics. He also in an interested in the effect of education on policing as well as interviewing and interrogation, having completed studies in both areas. He received his bachelor’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University and his master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. White received his PhD from Capella University.

Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Criminal Justice
Charles (Mike) White, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Criminal Justice

Testimonials

  • Sean M Durocher - Class of 2015
    "Tiffin University was my top choice when searching for colleges. I knew with nationally recognized Criminal Justice Programs, I would receive the best education for my future career goals. Because my undergraduate experience was so positive and rewarding, I have pursued my Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at TU working as a graduate assistant for First-Year Programs. As a GA, I have been able to give back to an institution that has given so much to me and my fellow classmates. Go Dragons!”

    – Sean M. Durocher, Class of 2015

    Sean M Durocher - Class of 2015
  • Ygor Bortolato
    "I chose Tiffin because it is a university with people from all parts of the world, and the fact I could be here and meet all of them is simply amazing. Better yet, I came here for swimming and it was an honor for me to be a part of TU’s newest athletic program.”

    - Ygor Bortolato, Brazil

    Ygor Bortolato
  • Xin Guo
    "The aspects of Tiffin University that I really like include low tuition cost and the fact that there are generous scholarships available for international students. Tiffin’s quiet atmosphere makes it easy to concentrate on your studies, but the surrounding cities have plenty to explore including a vibrant entertainment scene.”

    - Xin Guo, China

    Xin Guo
  • I knew Tiffin University was the place for me the second I stepped foot on campus. I toured a handful of other universities offering similar programs, but TU was the only school that truly made me feel at home.

    -Caleb Reynolds '15

    TU helped grow my network and give me experience by meeting students from other cultures and countries, and learning from a range of professors. Anyone who wants to feel connected to their fellow students, to their personable professors, and the community
  • John Carpenter
    "I chose Tiffin University because of the curriculum, the online opportunities, and the fact that it is a brick-and-mortar school close to my home. I made many invaluable contacts through my TU experience."

    – John Carpenter

    John Carpenter

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