CJ Dept 911

Criminal Justice Department Commemorates 9/11

On the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the University’s Department of Criminal Justice in conjunction with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum held a video screening, panel discussion, and gallery exhibit in Pollak Theatre. 

In coordination with events in the five boroughs of New York City, Monmouth University was the only New Jersey location hosting this exhibition.

The program, “Commemorating 9/11: Art, Perspective, and Reflections,” gave faculty a chance to voice their perspectives and stories from that day. Attendees listen to speeches by Virginia S. Bauer, a member of the Board of Directors for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, as well as Douglas Collier, Criminal Justice Director of Professional Outreach and Engagement; John Comiskey, Ed.D., an Assistant Professor of homeland security; Christopher DeRosa, Ph.D., Department Chair of History and Anthropology; and Melissa Ziobro, a Specialist Professor of public history. 

Both Comiskey and Collier were prominent members of law enforcement at the time of the attacks. Collier said, “This event especially is one that will continue the conversation of criminal justice and homeland security. Our platform is never to be forgotten as the years go on, we can never forget the first responders who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Collier also mentioned how important this discussion is for our students, “It is critically important in why we study criminal justice policies and how they change the process of criminal justice reform.”

Alexandra Hotaling, a homeland security graduate student, said, “After attending the [September 11th] panel event, it really put into perspective how lucky we are to be American, and how resilient of a nation we are in light of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”

In continuing the discussion of 9/11 and homeland security, the Department of Criminal Justice also helped host an event at Ocean County College the following day. The event was staged as a conversation with Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson. Comiskey was the moderator and asked Former Secretary Johnson a number of hot topic questions. 

The event focused on the pillars of homeland security: cyber security, domestic and international terrorist threats, and gun laws. Comiskey asked Johnson what he thought the future of homeland security looks like and responded, “I see us with less security… we need to overcome the want to hurt others.” 

Hotaling said of the event, “Jeh Johnson really exemplified what it meant to be a homeland security student: to ensure a sense of safety to civilians and pay it forward to those first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice on the day the world stopped turning.”

Comiskey was able to reflect on how the event went, “Johnson did a very good job conveying difficult questions about border security, gun laws, etc. He also mentioned how important our cyber critical infrastructure is which further proves we will most likely keep our critical infrastructure course in our program.”

“We, as professors, don’t teach you, as students, what to think but how to think. We need to try to tone down the rhetoric in the face of the 2020 election and learn to hear the other side,” Comiskey continued.

The event was a way to continue conversation surrounding homeland security and to commemorate and honor the experiences of those involved with 9/11.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University