Garden City Community College hosted the multi-state ACJA/LAE Region III Conference Oct. 17 to 20, with a conference theme of: Make It R.E.A.L: Beyond the Classroom (Realism Enhances Academic Learning).

Participating colleges from three states included: Kansas State University, Garden City Community College, Seward County Community College. Johnson County Community College; University of Central Missouri, Central Methodist College, Evangel University, all of Missouri; Peru State College, Nebraska; and East Arkansas Community College, Arkansas.

A total of 122 competitors participated in competitions including crime scene, firearms, physical agility and written testing over the four-day conference. The "Make It Real" theme was enhanced by participation from the GC3 Theater and Drama program acting in the simulated crime scene competitive events, complete with moulage and scripts.

In addition to the competitive events, late-night, hands-on workshops running from 9 p.m. to midnight were featured on Friday and Saturday night and included Homicide Investigation Cadaver Exploration; Forensic Wounds; Moulage Makes It R.E.A.L; Interview and Interrogation; AFIX and Livescan; Critical Decision Making Range 3000; Tactics and Entry Techniques; CSI Evidence & Latent Techniques; and First Aid Trauma 1st 5 Minutes.

In addition to hosting, the criminal justice competition team (Tau Epsilon Lambda) also competed in the various competitive events. There are three divisions in each competition division: lower, upper and professional.

Team members from the lower division include Maria Arrieta, Zachary Tindle, Leeana Guerrero, Brittany Morales, Storm Mosher, Rafael Murillo Garcia, Felecia Preston, Yetzubelli Rangel, Starla Satoe and Dakota Cop.

The upper division was composed of Matt Walker and Fabiola Espinoza, with the professional category made of David Rupp, Linda Morgan and Jerred Stritt.

Trophies awarded to GCCC team members are as listed:

* second in Criminal Law Lower Division, Starla Satoe;

* first ACJA Knowledge Upper Division, Fabiola Espinoza;

* third in Physical Agility Female 26 to 35, Fabiola Espinoza;

* first in Physical Agility Female 36 and older, Starla Satoe;

* second Physical Agility Male 18 to 25, Dakota Cop;

* first Individual Firearms Professional, Linda Morgan;

* second Individual Firearms Professional, Jerred Stritt;

* first Firearms Team Professional, Linda Morgan, Jerred Stritt, David Rupp.