Southeast Alumni Sworn in this Week as Deputy U.S. Marshals

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 17, 2007 – Brian Biermann of Washington, Mo., and Heather West of Jackson, Mo., both May 2007 graduates of Southeast Missouri State University, graduated this week from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and are now Deputy U.S. Marshals.

Biermann and West will be honored at a reception at Southeast at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in Crisp Hall, Room 208. The two are then headed for their new assignments. Biermann will serve as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and West will serve in the same capacity in St. Louis.

The two took part last spring in the prestigious U.S. Marshal Service (USMS) Centralized Student Career Experience Program (CSCEP) in Glencoe, Ga. The CSCEP is a 16-week cooperative work study program in which students who are interested in becoming Deputy U.S. Marshals and are majoring in criminal justice, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology, or social science with a concentration in one of the areas listed can receive on the job training and work experience with the USMS. If chosen, first by the University and then by the USMS, students have the opportunity to earn a salary with benefits. Participation in this program can lead to eligibility for full-time employment with the USMS.

Biermann and West were employed by the U.S. Marshal Service during the summer and early fall.

“Our early success is overwhelming,” said Dr. John Wade, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology, adding this is the first time that a Southeast graduate has been hired through the CSCEP program to become a U.S. Marshal.

In order to meet requirements for the program, students referred by the University must be at least 20 years old, have U.S. citizenship and maintain a 3.0 grade point average within their major field and an overall grade point average of 2.75, and be near completion of degree requirements. Once chosen by the school, the student must then pass a structured interview, full-field background investigation, medical and psychological examination and fitness test.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude when I discovered my acceptance into the program. I had so much to be thankful for. Most people wait years to become a part of the U.S. Marshals. The program provides students with direct access to the Marshal Service. Unlike the majority of people wishing to get into federal law enforcement, I did not have to take a national test,” said Heather West, a Southeast criminal justice major graduating in May.

The two Southeast interns had the opportunity to gain experiential learning from one-on-one work with the Marshals.

“Getting to work closely with the deputies every day is my favorite part. I really get to see what goes on in their daily operations. It’s not what television makes it out to be. It is an important and necessary function of the legal and criminal justice system,” Biermann said.

Upon successful completion of CSCEP and all degree requirements, students may be offered a Deputy U.S. Marshal position, as were Biermann and West. According to Wade, this non-competitive process provides a direct line of employment, compared with the less direct, traditional route of working in public service for three or four years before moving into a position with the USMS.

Wade said he believes the University’s involvement with the CSCEP is a great recognition for the University and the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology.

For more information on Southeast’s involvement with the CSCEP, contact the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at (573) 651-2541.