New chair for the CJ department

By Elizabeth Comben

In January, the Criminal Justice Department at Madonna University welcomed its newest full-time faculty member and future Chairperson, Tara Kane.  Kane’s extensive background with not only the criminal justice field but also with Madonna has granted her ample respect and a promising future for the department. 

Kane has spent the past 17 years with the West Bloomfield Police Department.  She was hired in 1996 as a cadet and promoted to sergeant by 2007.  During her time as sergeant, Kane lead Investigations in the Youth Bureau and Crime Prevention. 

These investigations primarily consisted of cases involving child abuse and sexual assault, which influenced her involvement as a trainer for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.  Here, Kane guided other law enforcement officers through training techniques on the Response to Non-Stranger Sexual Assault Investigations.   

Since receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2002, she has also earned a MSBA in Criminal Justice Leadership in 2008, both from Madonna.

In May, Kane will take over as Chairperson for the Criminal Justice Department for Barry Sherman.  Sherman feels confident with Kane’s appointment to the position and feels that she has stood out above the rest.  

“We had 59 applicants for the position. Many were retired police chiefs and command officers. Tara came out on top after a very intensive search process. This included interviews with a faculty panel and a classroom presentation on a criminal justice topic,” explained Sherman. 

Kane hopes to “draw upon my different contacts within the criminal justice community to help students attain internships that are meaningful for them as well as provide opportunities for them to make contact with professionals in their chosen fields of study for real world advice.”  She also believes that drawing from past experiences she can enhance the overall student learning. 

As far as the future of the Criminal Justice Department, both Kane and Sherman feel that it will continue down a promising road.  “We have an excellent group of instructors,” said Kane.

“In addition to the full-time members of the department, the CJ program has some very distinguished adjunct instructors from the real world that some other commuter schools cannot offer,” she said. 

Kane also hopes to aid in the growth of the 3+1 Program as well as help create new opportunities for workshops of special topics with the other departments.  “The 3+1 Program is an agreement that we have signed with area community colleges that allow them to earn up to 90 semester hours at the community college and finish their last 30 with us,” said Sherman.

Sherman believes Kane will “continue the tradition of the chairperson being a graduate of our Criminal Justice program. 

“She has the leadership qualities that will continue the reputation our department has earned over the past 30 years,” said Sherman.

Sherman has served as the Chairperson for the department for the past 12 years and managed to expand the program considerably.  In 2000, the program had 150 enrolled students and in 2012 the number reached near 500 students. 

Even with the support of her fellow colleagues, Kane still feels the pressure of her future position. 

“I have big shoes to fill,” she said. “One of my hopes for the future of the CJ program at Madonna is that some years from now when Mr. Sherman looks back he is proud of the hands he left the program in.”