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Public Safety Night at Western to feature Fire and EMS demonstrations, ‘Making a Murderer’ update

September 21, 2016

Public Safety Night
Public Safety Night will include discussions about high-profile police investigations in Rock Springs and Wisconsin.

The Criminal Justice Program at Western Wyoming Community College will host Public Safety Night on Monday, Oct. 3, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Atrium at the Rock Springs campus. Activities will include equipment and tactical demonstrations by the Rock Springs Fire Department and Sweetwater Medics, as well as an update on the “Making a Murderer” presentation that Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Traci Ciepiela gave earlier this year.

Emergency-responder demonstrations will run for the full 90 minutes in the Atrium. At 6 p.m. in Room 1309, Sgt. Tim Robinson of the Rock Springs Police Department will present “Cold Case Files – Rock Springs,” in which he will discuss a local cold case involving a serial rapist that was profiled last year on the A&E Channel’s docuseries “Cold Justice: Sex Crimes.” The full episode may be viewed at

At 6:30 p.m. in Room 1302, Ciepiela will discuss recent developments in the “Making a Murderer” case. “Making a Murderer” is the hit Netflix docuseries that followed the cases of Steven Avery and his cousin, Brendan Dassey, who were charged with murdering a young woman in Manitowoc, Wisc. Avery previously had been wrongly convicted of rape, for which he spent 18 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence.

The documentary has offered a critical view of police and prosecution conduct in Avery’s cases, and, in the wake of the show’s popularity, more than 200,000 people have signed petitions asking that Avery’s conviction be overturned. Ciepiela’s follow-up presentation will touch on recent developments in the case, including the fact that Dassey remains in prison despite having his conviction overturned by a federal judge. An appeal filed on Avery’s behalf suggests there may have been investigative errors or misconduct in the original investigation, and Ciepiela will discuss the legal implications of this for Avery’s defense.

Western is pleased to invite local first-responders and members of the community to campus on Monday, Oct. 3, at 6 p.m. for a fun and informative Public Safety Night program. For more information, contact Ciepiela at or at (307) 382-1767. 

For more information, contact Audrey Harton at (307) 382-1661 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181