Guest Speakers visit SGTC Criminal Justice program

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

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By Su Ann Bird


AMERICUS – SGTC Criminal Justice graduate LaKeista Davis, Chief Magistrate Judge Crystal Cleveland and GBI Special Agent James Gibson visited Criminal Justice Instructor Teresa McCook’s classes to share their insight and expertise on career options for Criminal Justice majors.

South Georgia Technical College Criminal Justice graduate LaKeista Davis spoke with current students about his job as a detention officer and also talked with students about various jobs that are available in the criminal justice field in Sumter and surrounding communities.


SGTC Criminal Justice Graduate LaKeista Davis, was another guest speaker that came out and talked with current students.
Photo by SGTC

Davis is a 2018 graduate of the SGTC Criminal Justice program.  He encouraged students to stay in school and graduate. He also shared with students that there are opportunities for students to come out and do ride-alongs to experience what patrol officers see.

He also shared with students about internships to learn more about the demands of a detention officer. In addition to that information, he talked with students about other opportunities available if they do not want to work directly with inmates.


Crystal Cleveland is shown here with SGTC Criminal Justice students after speaking to their class.
Photo by SGTC

Chief Magistrate Judge Crystal Cleveland was another guest speaker who came out and spoke with both the morning CRJ students and the dual enrollment students from Sumter County High School.

Judge Cleveland was able to speak on her role as the elected chief magistrate judge for Sumter County, GA. She discussed her office’s various duties in our local criminal justice system. She was happy to share with the students her qualifications and what qualifications were required for her current position.

Special Agent James Gibson, who is the Crime Scene Specialist Technical Leader for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Americus Office, talked with students about Crime Scene Processing. He shared with students the importance of documenting and protecting the crime scenes and had tips on responding to the crime scene. He also relayed what officers can do to assist in the proper investigation of the scenes.

Crystal Cleveland is shown here with the SGTC Criminal Justice dual enrollment students, who were dressed up for 90’s day in honor of National Red Ribbon Week being celebrated in local schools.
Photo by SGTC

He had a PowerPoint presentation that was very information and also opened up his session for questions. He talked with students about different types of scenes and evidence collected. He did a blood splatter presentation, which was very eye-opening for students.

Teresa McCook, SGTC Criminal Justice Instructor, thanked each of the individuals for giving of their time and talents to the next generation of criminal justice professionals. “Our students enjoy and learn when current officers in the field come in and demonstrate what is actually being used in the field of criminal justice,” said McCook. “Agent Gibson and the other guest speakers are very good at what they do and we appreciate their willingness to share that knowledge with our students.”