Curry College Criminal Justice students and local residents came out in full force on February 26 as Lieutenant Justin Hanrahan of the Watertown Police Department led a three-hour civil service exam preparation course. Lt. Hanrahan covered everything from how to dress for a job interview, to how to think critically if you come across a confusing exam question.
Timothy O'Sullivan, a Curry College Public Safety Officer and advisor to the Curry College Criminal Justice Student Organization (CJSO), and Professor Jen Balboni, who advises the Criminal Justice Honors Program, organized the event.
"I also serve as a municipal police officer in East Bridgewater, so I have taken the civil service exam," Officer O'Sullivan said. "I've attended several different preparation courses and [Hanrahan's] was by far the most engaging."
Despite having to cover some challenging material, Hanrahan kept the audience of more than 100 attendees-approximately 60 percent of whom were Curry students-fully engaged, accepting questions and cracking jokes when appropriate.
Lt. Hanrahan has been teaching this course for a decade and many participants are eventually accepted into the Police Academy.
"I am grateful to Curry for inviting me on campus to help prepare students and community members for the exam," Lt. Hanrahan said. "Many colleges focus solely on the academic element and don't realize the practical aspect of joining the (law enforcement) department."
Officer O'Sullivan stressed how incredible it is for students to have an opportunity like this on their campus, especially since Curry student attendance fees were covered by the college. Many underclassmen who attended are not eligible to take the civil service exam-students have to be at least 21 years old and the test is only offered every two years.
Given this year's turnout, Professor Balboni hopes to make this preparation courses a bi-annual offering, "We're going to do anything we can do to help Curry students succeed in their careers."