Lambda Alpha Epsilon is a national fraternity association devoted to furthering academic goals and professionalism in the area of criminal justice. More information may be found at Lambda Alpha Epsilon-National Chapter.
Membership is basically open to anyone who is interested in criminal justice. The National Chapter states membership is open to criminal justice majors at a college or university accredited by a recognized national or regional accreditation association; to persons currently employed or honorably retired from the criminal justice field; and, to persons approved by the Executive Board of Grand Chapter involved in volunteer work related to criminal justice– in other words, basically open to anyone who is interested in criminal justice.
Dr. Curtis Blakely, Professor, is the advisor for the LAE Chapter at Truman State University. Amanda Brown, is the President for anyone interested in more information. National dues are $36.00 and local dues are $10.00 Meetings are held several times during the year. Each member receives a certificate, card, pin, sticker, national journals and newsletters, and job information via internet.
Compared to today’s high tech standards, the first three decades of twentieth century law enforcement in the western United States was quite elementary and simple. There was little training for peace officers until the 1920’s.
In 1905, August Vollmer entered into law enforcement at Berkeley University (California) as Marshal and soon moved to Chief. He utilized resources of the university’s technical and behavioral scientists to study “the criminal”; thus, he developed advanced methods of detection and apprehension of criminals. The results over several decades were a School of Criminology at the University of California at Berkeley; training for policemen; and, research, experimentation, and evaluation of new methods of crime detection and investigation. The ultimate result was that all of this spread and inspired others.
By the mid-1930’s vocational training in California had started and from this associations developed that put on short seminars for police officers. The official title of the association was the “California Technical Institute for Peace Officer Training”. It is noted that the majority of the men attended at their own expense; thus, friendships were built with the interest of law enforcement at which became incentives to keep in touch with one another.
In 1937, Frank Gompert, a summer graduate of the Institute, a laboratory expert from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and an instructor was selected as temporary chairman of a group of graduates whose mission was to explore the feasibility of establishing a “brotherhood or fraternity” of commonly trained officers who could spread the learning they had acquired through their participation in the school.
Several committee meetings were held over the next several months. A sizeable number of graduates contributed to the planning and development of a Constitution and Bylaws and the first meeting of Lambda Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the Alpha Chapter, began in Hayward, California. It included students and instructors which was than modified to be opened up to graduates and instructors from the First California Institute for Peace Officers Training.
After World War II, LAE opened its membership to any college graduate who was either employed full-time in a police agency or had completed at least thirty college units in police science or administration with a “B Average” or better; yet, during the 1950’s it opened up to all students, including women. Several hundred student members went into various police, probation, parole, prison and specialized state agencies. Students were inspired by their professionally employed “brothers”.
ACJA/LAE has continued to grow since it’s “nationalization”. The Association holds a National Conference every year with excellent workshops and speakers; competitions including corrections, criminal law, juvenile law, physical agility, and crime scene investigation; and, a National Pistol Match. The Association also offers and awards scholarships each year to our members who wish to apply for them. The LAE Journal and the National Newsletter are the “official” publications of the Association.
The Association will continue to grow in size and stature in the years to come and members will be more and more aware of the “impact” of their membership in the Association in achieving their academic and professional goals.