The formative idea for an organization such as Lambda Alpha Epsilon originated at San Jose State College, San Jose, California, during the summer of 1937. That summer, the first California Technical Institute for Peace Officer Training was being held in San Jose. The men attending the Institute, sharing a common interest in law enforcement training and eager to upgrade their profession, were quick to realize the extent to which these interests could be carried by such an organization.
This idea, once formed, was immediately set into motion. Plans were laid and a constitution was drafted which was adopted at a meeting held on December 18, 1937, at the City Hall in Hayward, California, and the first chapter, Alpha, came into being.
With the transfer of the Institute from San Jose to the Los Angeles and Berkeley campuses of the University of California, came plans for another chapter, which was installed on April 25, 1941, at Los Angeles. This made the fraternity a two-chapter organization; Alpha in the north and Beta in the south. This also brought certain problems.
The original plan had been for a one-chapter organization that would function as both the first chapter, Alpha, and as Grand Chapter. While there had been only Alpha, this had worked fine, but with the installation of Beta, it meant that each member of Alpha was entitled to a vote, but Beta was limited to only certain members voting at the annual meetings. Another problem being encountered by Alpha was that the original constitution limited membership to graduates of the Institute and the members felt that this was too restrictive as there were graduates of other schools, equally as good as the Institute, whose applications had to be turned down.
Due to these problems and recognizing a need for an organizational adjustment, a special committee was appointed in 1945 to study the existing constitution and recommend changes to make it more functional for a multi-chapter organization. As a result of this committee's report, a revised constitution was adopted at the annual meeting held in July of 1946 that, with certain exceptions, opened membership to law enforcement people in general. The aims and purposes of Lambda Alpha Epsilon were as follows:
- To promote a greater fraternal relationship among graduates of technical and professional police schools.
- To promote higher standards of educational attainments among peace officers.
- To promote the institution of courses of police science by recognized colleges and universities.
- To promote research projects in the field of police science.
- To promote a better understanding by the public of the aims and deals of peace officer organizations.
- To promote the selection of properly trained personnel for law enforcement positions.
- To promote standard modem methods in the field of law enforcement.
- To promote unity of action among law enforcement agencies.
In 1950, a petition was received from a group of pre-service students of the School of Criminology at the University of Berkeley. Prior to this, Lambda Alpha Epsilon had been strictly a professional organization, with only in-service law enforcement people. However, the possibility of collegiate chapters of non-service people was looked into and found to have merit. Epsilon was granted its charter and became the first collegiate chapter.
The petition from Epsilon raised another question. One of the petitioners was a woman, Barbara Feister. After some controversy, "Brother Barbara" was admitted as a charter member of Epsilon and as the first woman member of Lambda Alpha Epsilon. After "Brother Barbara" had opened the door, the rest of the girls were quick to follow and the first all female chapter, Theta, in Sacramento, California was granted its charter on February 19, 1954. On August 31, 1954, Lambda Alpha Epsilon was incorporated under the laws of the State of California as a non-profit society.
In 1964, Lambda Alpha Epsilon introduced the first of its annual police competitions including: Criminal Law and Procedure; Criminal Investigation; Accident Investigation; Physical Agility; Camp Perry Pistol Course; Combat Pistol Course; and a Postal Pistol Match. There were three levels of competition in each of these areas: collegiate-lower division; collegiate-upper division; and professional division.
With the advent of new chapters outside the State of California, decentralization became a necessity. In May of 1969, the Nation was divided into five regions, with a separate vice-president in charge of each. The vice-presidents administered the activities of the regions in accordance with the goals of the Association as a whole. Reorganization brought about restructuring our thinking and new Bylaws were adopted in September 1970. Since the organization covers all the facets of the field of criminal justice from law enforcement to the judiciary to corrections, the name was changed to Lambda Alpha Epsilon-American Criminal Justice Association. In 1976, the name was reversed to read American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon.
Lambda Alpha Epsilon has continued to grow since our "nationalization" to the point where we now have six regions and instead of Regional Vice-Presidents, we now have Regional Presidents. We have active chapters in almost 95% of our states. We hold 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. Rules and regulations of the National Rifle Association for Police Combat Matches are used. We also award scholarships each year to our members who wish to apply for them. 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.
History of the CSULA Μμ Chapter
The Μμ Chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association has been reactivated since being deactivated in 2006. (Be aware the Μμ greek name is currently being reviewed by the chapter and may be changing to something else). The committee is has decided to start fresh with numerous club information.
The goals of this chapter are as follows:
- Social Events
- Professional Achievement - speakers, workshops, projects
- Establish cooperation and unity with the Criminal Justice faculty and students
- Establish a firearms training/range
- Student Lounge (for Criminal Justice students)
- Student Lobbying
Objectives of the CSULA Μμ Chapter
- Improve criminal justice through educational activities.
- Foster professionalism in law enforcement personnel and agencies.
- Promote professional, academic, and public awareness of criminal justice issues.
- Encourage the establishment and expansion of higher education and professional training in criminal justice.
- Provide a unified voice for professionals in, and students of, criminal justice.
- Promote high standards of ethical conduct, professional training, and higher education within the criminal justice field.
Objectives of the Assocation shall be to:
As a member of the American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon, you are entitled to several benefits. The Entitlements the Association offers are granted to each individual member or earned through competitive activities. These entitlements include:
Upon acceptance into ACJA-LAE, members receive:
- Membership Certificate - that is frameable and printed on parchment paper. It contains the member's name; the Association's logo and seal; the date of acceptance; and the approval of acceptance by the signatures of the National President and the Executive Secretary.
- Membership Card - that identifies them as a member of ACJA-LAE. After initial acceptance, the card is issued annually upon renewal of Association membership.
- Membership Pin - a gold organizational identification pin that is a facsimile of the ACJA-LAE logo. To be worn with pride.
- ACJA-LAE Sticker - to be placed on books, cars, etc.
- National Journals and Newsletters - distributed to each active member. The publications contain information about: recent developments and synopses of released publications in the criminal justice field; Association activities at the National, Regional, and Chapter levels; and Accomplishments and news of individual members.
- Job Information - on how to access the NELS (National Employment Listing Service) bulletin published monthly as a public service for the criminal justice and social systems by the Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. Employment categories include Academics and Research, Community Service and Corrections, Institutional Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Security. This service can be accessed by anyone with an Internet address.
- Information and subscription rates to "Word of Mouth Advantage," - a Law Enforcement Job information publication. After subscribing, you will receive job listings from agencies who are about to test for envy, academy graduate, or lateral envy positions and agencies who are accepting applications. Salary and prerequisite information is provided when available. Selected Study Guides are also available.
SCHOLASTIC HONOR AWARDS
In recognition of outstanding scholastic attainment in the field of the administration of criminal justice, Keys (a distinctive charm/pin with the ACJA-LAE logo) and a Certificate are awarded to members who exemplify themselves academically. To obtain the Keys, candidates must submit a certified copy of the GPA transcript along with a cover letter, and the degree awarded to the Executive Secretary of Grand Chapter. Upon verification that the candidate meets the requirements for the award, the Certificate and Key Emblem will be mailed to the recipient.
- Graduate Keys - are awarded to those members who meet the requirements with a Graduate/Masters Degree. In order to qualify for a Graduate Key, a member's grade point average must be at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0.
- Gold Keys - are awarded to those members who meet the requirements with a Bachelors Degree. In order to qualify for a Gold Key, a member's grade point average must be at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0.
- Silver Keys - are awarded to those members who meet the requirements with an Associate Degree. In order to qualify for a Silver Key, a member's grade point average must be at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0.
Members may compete nationally for monetary awards. They are:
- Scholarship - A competitive program, which makes annual monetary scholarship, awards to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a course of study in the criminal justice field. Three categories of awards have been established to include a Graduate Division, an Upper Division, and a Lower Division. The winners of the Scholarship competition are selected by the Scholarship Committee. Annual awards are announced at the National Conference of the Association held each year. The deadline for Scholarship applications and papers is December 31st of each year. A paper must be written on the theme of the upcoming National Conference, which changes every year. Interested members may contact the Executive Secretary to obtain applications and information.
- Student Paper Competition - Any student member is eligible to compete who is enrolled in an academic program. Three categories of awards have been established to include a Graduate Division, an Upper Division, and a Lower Division. All entries must be original papers dealing with issues and problems in the areas of criminology, law enforcement, juvenile justice, courts, corrections, prevention, planning and evaluation, and career development and education in the field of criminal justice. The deadline for Student Paper Competition applications and papers is January 31st of each year. Awards are announced at the National Conference held each year. Interested members may contact the Executive Secretary for an application and information.
- National Conference - Once a year, a weeklong National Conference is held comprised of workshops; seminars; written, practical, and physical competitive events. Five written competitions include Criminal Law, Police Management and Operation, Juvenile Justice, Corrections and an LAE Knowledge exam. A Crime Scene Investigation is also held as well as a Pistol Competition for individuals and team competition. A Physical Agility competition is also offered. The National Conference is held in a different city each year and is structured around a specific theme chosen by the Board of Directors. A National Business Meeting is held as well as banquets with guest speakers. A closing banquet is scheduled at each National Conference and trophies are awarded to the winners who competed in the competitions throughout the week.
- Regional Conferences - Once a year in the Fall, a mini-conference is held in each of our six regions. This Conference is usually 2-3 days long and consists of competitions, seminars, workshops and Regional Business Meeting. A closing banquet is scheduled at the end of the Conference and trophies are awarded to the winners who competed throughout the week.
Selected plaques, trophies, mugs and jewelry are available from the National Office.
Significance of the Emblem
The emblem of the American Criminal Justice Association - Lambda Alpha Epsilon consists of a hexagon upon which is inscribed three Greek letters, Lambda, Alpha and Epsilon; a web, a star and a pair of scales. Each of these figures has a particular significance for us in the field of criminal justice.
- The Greek Letters
- "Lambda" is the first letter of the Greek word "Lambano" which means "to detect and apprehend".
- "Alpha" is the first letter of the Greek word "Anakrinen" meaning "to adjudicate".
- "Epsilon" is the first letter of the Greek word "Exorthoun" which translated means "to rehabilitate".
The three letters taken together are representative of the primary functions of criminal justice systems everywhere; to detect, to adjudicate, to rehabilitate.
- The web symbolizes that great complexity of criminal activity. The edges of this web are anchored to our national boundaries from state to state and city to city. The web has a second significance for criminal justice agents. It accentuates the multitude of agencies dedicated to cope with this massive dilemma. Each act of agency cooperation helps eliminate a strand in the web of crime making it progressively easier to deal with this enormous social problem.
- The star is representative of the light of knowledge. The truth of the adage "Knowledge is Power" becomes more apparent each day. Now, more than ever, those of us who are committed to the criminal justice system appreciate that only by acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, can we hope to perform an adequate service to our communities. In our oath we have obligated ourselves to be both a teacher and a student of the art and science of criminal justice. Let this star constantly remind us of our dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.
Traditionally, scales are emblematic of justice. As criminal justice agents, we are committed to deal with our respective tasks honestly, truthfully, and without prejudice. The evidence of our skill is the ability to consummate our tasks with the highest degree of professional integrity possible. As criminal justice agents, we are charged to detect, to apprehend, to prosecute, to adjudicate, and to rehabilitate criminal offenders whenever and wherever they come before the system. As members of the American Criminal Justice Association - Lambda Alpha Epsilon, we know that these objectives can best be achieved through the just administration of the art and science of the criminal justice system.