News Archive

Walter Smith heads up HCTC Criminal Justice program

Walter SmithHazard Community and Technical College now offers a Criminal Justice program in four areas -- criminal justice, corrections, security and loss prevention, and law enforcement. A computer forensics certificate program also is available. Walter Smith has been hired as the new coordinator and faculty person for the program, which began this semester.

This program is attractive to those wanting to work in the criminal justice field because many departments are beginning to look toward the value of a college degree. It takes a lot of education to do what police are asked to do. With constricting budgets, police departments have less money for training so some require a degree, Smith said.

His previous roles include Outpatient Substance Abuse Therapist, substance abuse counselor, a volunteer advocate for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, Correctional Counselor, developing an MRT cognitive behavior program for the Bell County Forestry Camp, and a faculty member at both Southeast Community College and Somerset Community College. Smith said he has always wanted to do work that helps people, which led him to teaching. You can help the largest number of people by teaching those who do this kind of work, he said.

The police officer spends a lot of time spent doing social work. The officer s day involves solving problems and dealing with life issues, Smith noted. In correctional settings, officers and other staff are asked to deal with difficult populations on an almost constant basis, creating a need for specialized training.

As new and more technologically advanced security threats to private security are being used by others around us, individuals and organizations are increasingly looking to trained professional private security firms for the latest and most advanced protections available. Our program in Security and Loss Prevention helps fill that need by providing quality instruction in the latest threats and counter measures that can be employed to combat them. This is even more evident as we move further into the digital age and private, as well as public, organizations look to those skilled in computer forensics to deal with computer crime, Smith said.

Smith is working on his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg. He holds a master s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor s degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies from Eastern Kentucky University.

Smith graduated from Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and he said he looks forward to his role at HCTC.

Those interested in learning more about the Criminal Justice program can contact WSmith0031@kctcs.edu or call him at (606) 487-3303.