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Fertile Ground: IL ISP Terrorism and Intelligence Center Director Recruits "Cream of Crop" from Alma Mater
December 10, 2012
MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University student interns Captain Brad Carnduff has worked with in his position as the director of the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) "are almost always the cream of the crop." According to Carnduff, who earned his bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration (LEJA) in 1988, over the last three and a half-years he has worked with several WIU students—many of whom are majoring in law enforcement and justice administration and minoring in the School of LEJA's growing homeland security minor program. Carnduff noted in his position as the head of the STIC, he sees numerous applications each semester from students from all types of universities and college.
"Students in Western's law enforcement program who apply for internships with us generally rise to the top of the list. They are well prepared, eager to learn and not afraid to demonstrate their talents," he said. "Ken Durkin, who was the internship coordinator in LEJA when I was a student (way back in 1988) was of great help to me," Carnduff explained. "Ken helped me obtain an internship with the Springfield Police Department. Based on the interns I have worked with, it is obvious WIU's law enforcement and justice administration program possesses the same quality today as it did years ago."
According to Durkin, who is also a professor in the School of LEJA, working in an internship position at STIC provides students with first-hand experience by having the opportunity to observe the responsibilities of STIC and the Illinois State Police in everyday practice.
"This practical exposure will assist them in their career endeavors, as well as for professional referrals. Interns obtain experience with the analysts at STIC, as well as being able to network with other units/divisions within the Illinois State Police (i.e., investigations, troopers, tactical response team personnel, records, etc.). The personnel with the ISP are excellent mentors, and the interns are able to benefit from their expertise," Durkin said.
Carnduff said he makes a point of maintaining professional relationships with Durkin, as well as with Homeland Security Research Program Director and LEJA Associate Professor Dean Alexander and other faculty members in the School of LEJA.
"The faculty in LEJA at Western have great contact bases not only with public law enforcement agencies, but also with the private sector. I think this private sector security outreach also provides a lot of opportunities for WIU students, many of which are not afforded by other universities," he added.
In October, Carnduff visited Western to talk about the STIC and the internship opportunities it has provided, and continues to provide, to students enrolled in WIU's law enforcement and justice administration and homeland security programs. Carnduff—who started out his law enforcement career as an Illinois State Trooper in 1990—started working at the Illinois State Police's STIC in 2009 and was promoted to captain in 2010.
"The STIC has been one of the most dynamic places to work in my career, and I truly feel I have the best position in the ISP, next to, of course, Director Hiram Grau," he said. "We have many professional code and sworn employees that work directly with many state, local, federal and private security agencies in a manner which is very decentralized. All the agencies are open to sharing information, which has significantly impacted how we collect, analyze and disseminate intelligence information. This professional team atmosphere provides real time, actionable information to our partners in a more efficient manner, which ultimately provides a safer place for citizens visiting or residing in Illinois."
Alexander noted hosting speakers like Carnduff not only demonstrates to students the important opportunities available in the homeland security area of the law enforcement field, but also illustrates the level of success they can achieve with hard work and the preparation they receive as WIU LEJA students. He said, as of this semester, the School of LEJA has added two new homeland security-focused courses for students pursuing the homeland security minor at Western, including, "Terrorism Financing and Responses" and "Terrorism and Law Enforcement."
"We are pleased that Brad exposes our students to the significant work that STIC provides in the all-risks, all-hazards realms, particularly in counterterrorism. As such, students obtain first-hand, current insights and expertise on a myriad of homeland security issues," he said.
WIU LEJA: Future (and Past) Path to Success
Joshua Sheppard, who graduated from Western last May with an LEJA bachelor's degree and a minor in homeland security, completed an internship at the STIC during the Spring 2012 semester.
"When it came to doing my internship as a Western student, I wanted to participate in internships I would remember and that would give me practical experience. I had already done one internship during the summer of 2010, where I spent a majority of my time riding around with deputies of the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department," Sheppard explained. "When Professor Alexander told me about the opportunity of doing an additional internship with the Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center, I instantly was strongly interested. He told me that an internship with the STIC would be very beneficial to me, that it would give me important insight into the homeland security-oriented field of work."
According to Sheppard, his homeland security classes at Western provided him with a solid background for his internship experience at the STIC.
"One of the first things I noticed when I started my internship at the STIC was the vast number of areas the analysts there cover—whether it be a counter intelligence analyst, a terrorism research specialist, someone who works on motorcycle gangs or Amber Alerts or whatever the task may be. Thanks to my classes with Professor Alexander and other School of LEJA faculty, I felt like I was more prepared going into my internship than I would have been if I had not minored in homeland security. I was able to relate to most of the analysts when they were talking about topics such as the Somali Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab or Al Qaeda," Sheppard explained.
Carnduff said Sheppard is one of many interns from Western who have done a "terrific" job during their time in Springfield and noted he has a bright future ahead of him in law enforcement.
Since graduating from Western, Carnduff has achieved a significant level of accomplishment during his 20-plus year law enforcement career with the Illinois State Police organization. In 1994, he was appointed to the ISP's Intelligence Bureau and worked in a position there until 1996. He also spent almost 10 years serving as an instructor and trainer at the ISP Academy, where he worked with more than 1,500 ISP cadets and local law enforcement recruits and was one of the founders of the ISP's Teaching Assessing and Correction (TAC) Programs, which is still used today to instill "Integrity Service and Pride" with the cadets/recruits. In 1998, he was promoted to sergeant as the cadet class coordinator, then master sergeant in 2000 as the section supervisor of training. In 2005, he was promoted to lieutenant as the division of administration chief of staff. In 2006, he graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBI/NA). He still is very active with the FBI/NA, currently serving as the president of the FBI/NA Illinois chapter.
Durkin noted that Carnduff has continued to be been a strong supporter of his alma mater and the internship program.
"He has returned to campus numerous times to share his experience and expertise with our students through class presentations and student clubs presentations. He is also a strong advocate of the ISP internship program overall and through STIC. There is no substitution for real-life practical experience/exposure, and the ISP/STIC internship provides that opportunity for the student/intern that has the appropriate background and motivation. Captain Carnduff truly exemplifies the values of the Illinois State Police: 'Integrity, Service, and Pride.' He instills those values to all individuals he comes in contact with," Durkin added.
"I'm very proud of the opportunity to attend and graduate from Western," Carnduff said. "One thing is for certain for me: As long as WIU offers the excellent LEJA program it does and I'm working in a professional law enforcement capacity in Illinois, I will always try to give back to WIU students the same opportunities I have had in my career."
WIU's School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration in one of the University's signature programs, and as of the Fall 2012 semester, the number of students enrolled in the School of LEJA's homeland security minor is just over 200, making it one of the largest minors in terms of enrollment at Western.
For more information about Western's LEJA program, including the homeland security minor, contact the WIU School of Law Enforcement Administration at (309) 298-1038 or LEJA@wiu.edu, or visit wiu.edu/leja.