Course Syllabus


LAJ 331.41 Investigations

Department of Law and Justice

Central Washington University




Rodrigo Murataya

Instructor:         Dr. Rodrigo Murataya              Email:     

Phone:              963-3667 @ Ellensburg           Phone:              963-3720 @ YVCC               

Office:              Psychology 458                        Office hour:      M-W 11:00 - 12:00

Office:              DHEC (@ YVCC)                  Office hour:      MTWTH 4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.



Required Texts:

Bennett, Wayne K., Hess, Karen M. (7th edition, 2005). Criminal Investigation. St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing.


     APA. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th Ed). Washington, DC: APA


Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction into the investigative aspect of police work.  The course is designed to provide a broad base of information rather than in depth on only several issues or cases.  Course material will be from both the text as well as other sources provided by the instructor.  Class meetings will consist of lecture, discussions, guest speakers, and some surprises.


Course Objectives:

Students are to be able to identify the major goals in a criminal investigation and understand the basic function of the first investigator to arrive at the scene.  The students will also be responsible for learning the importance of scene sketches and scene photography, recording scene information in their notes and later taking the notes and turning them into a narrative that can be used to prosecute the suspect.  We will also be covering some search and seizure rules as well as the exclusionary rule.  The student will be taught how to identify, collect, and process physical evidence.  Furthermore, how to conduct interviews, about the rights of the accused, the preparation of a case that will go to trial and the elements for some of the more commonly investigated crimes.




Students are expected to attend every class session and to be prepared.  Minimum preparation includes reading the material scheduled to be covered in the textbook.  All assignments are to be turned in to the instructor via email to the following email address:


Student Expectations:

Students are required to attend every class session and laboratory session, even when attendance is not taken.  Students are to be prepared for class by doing the assigned readings.


Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.  This includes, but is not limited to; Non constructive and/or inappropriate comments and/or behavior, arriving late or leaving early and failing to turn off audible pagers and/or cell phones.


Materials Needed:

A GroupWise email account and class text books. Barb, Melanie or Vanna can help you activate your account during their working hours 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.    Students must turn in their written assignments to instructor via email to the following email address:  


Student Attendance and participation:

1.      Attendance and participation are required for the full benefit of the education experience.  Students are expected to come to class and be prepared to join in discussion of the material.  It is highly recommended that you complete and review the daily exercises at the end of each chapter.

2.      Each excused or unexcused absence will result in a loss of 10 attendance points and up to the maximum of 5% (50 Points) of your final grade.

3.      Class begins promptly at 12:00 or 5:10 p.m. every session.  Failing to attend and participate in class will severely impact your grade.

4.      Be prepared to express your viewpoint and defend it – allow others to express their point of view, as well.  These important exchanges of ideas, that will be debated, are an important element in the learning process.  If students give the appearance of not being prepared, unannounced quizzes may be given.

5.      Writing assignments shall be turned in on the days assigned. Assignments must comply with the format requirements as set forth in the syllabus and as provided by the Instructor. Failure to comply with the requirements will result in the assignment being returned to the student and treated as late until the requirements are fulfilled.


Student Responsibilities:

-          Attend Class.  If you must miss a class you should contact a class member for assignments and materials missed.


-          Work in groups.  Contribute to your groups work within your assigned role.



-          Keep up on Readings.  You must read your materials according to the schedule in the syllabus.


-          Ask questions.  If you don’t ask questions I won’t know if I have explained the material sufficiently.  I welcome questions; this gives me valuable insight in how well my teaching is going.



-          Access and Monitor your GroupWise email.  When you finish reading this you should log onto your university provided GroupWise email.  Send me a message that you have finished reading the syllabus.  My email address is  I can then create a class email list to send you material, notices, assignments, etc.  If you don’t know how to do this or have trouble with it contact the department secretary Vanna Ritchie at or 963-3715, in the Deccio Higher education Center.  If you don’t have a computer, there are free computer labs available to you around campus.





The students will be graded on three examinations given throughout the quarter; Moreover, the students will complete a 10-12-page paper on a topic of choice yet related to the student’s criminal justice track and or in the investigation of a crime (Must be written in American Psychological Association (APA) format).  A one-page proposal will be due on February 8, 2006.  Attendance is mandatory and will be used in the calculation of the final grade!    If there are quizzes, the scores will be compiled at the end of the quarter, and then curved to assign an exam grade.  No quizzes can be made up regardless of the circumstances involved for the absence.  Finally, students will be assigned the task of presenting, before the class, on the initiation or progress of a current investigation.  The student MUST be well versed in the subject matter and be prepared to answer questions from their peers.  The presentation must be at least five minutes in length.


4 Tests  = 70%  Final Paper = 20%  Attendance = 5% contribution = 5%


Grading Scale:

94+      A

90-93   A-

87-89   B+

83-86   B

80-82   B-

77-79   C+

73-76   C

70-72   C-

67-69   D+

63-66   D

60-62   D-

59-       F





Reading Schedule:

Students are to read according to the chapters assigned.  If the class lags behind, the students should continue to read according to schedule because we may not spend as much time in some areas as others (Subject to Change):


January                         Chpt. 1-6

January 28, 2006                      Test 1


February 13, 2006                   Chpt. 7-11       Proposal for paper is due: February 8, 2006 

                                                Test 2


February 22, 2006                   Chpt. 12-15

                                                Test 3


March 8th                                 Chpt. 16-20

Test 4                                       Paper is due.




Policy on Academic Dishonesty:

The study of law and justice is the study of a particular branch of ethics.  The hallmark of any serious academic study of ethics is a commitment to the truth.  Students' choosing law and justice related careers are expected to meet rigorous standards of honesty.  Students are on their honor to avoid  "proscribed conduct" as defined by the " Student Judicial Code" (See appendix B, CWU catalog.)  Violations of this section will result in a failing grade in the course in addition to further possible university sanctions.


Policy on Diversity:

University-level education is about broadening horizons and looking at academic issues from a variety of perspectives.  With this in mind, the participants in this class are encouraged to bring their own life experiences and viewpoints to bear on classroom discussions and assignments.  Along with the freedom to express one's own view comes the responsibility of being sensitive to race, ethnicity, age, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, martial-status, or political ideology.


ADA Statement:

Students who have special needs or disabilities that may effect their ability to access information or material presented in this course are encouraged to contact me or the ADA Compliance Officer and Director on the Ellensburg campus at 509-963-2171 for additional disability related educational accommodations.

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