More than a dozen Chaminade students spent Friday at Ala Moana Beach taking their final for their Underwater Investigations workshop, a graduate studies offering held annually by Chaminade’s Criminal Justice program.  The day at the beach was the culmination of the weeklong workshop offered by the university’s Summer Institute.  Classes focused on underwater crime scene recovery operations.  The students learned and practiced the scientific protocol that can and should be applied to “underwater crime scenes.” Methods and techniques to locate, recover and handle submerged evidence were covered, along with the handling of firearms, bodies and vehicles to prevent contamination or loss of forensic evidence.

The summer workshop was taught by Ronald Becker, J.D., director of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Chaminade University, who has authored the widely used text Underwater Forensic Investigation and is nationally renowned as an expert in the field, and by Lt. Lynn Dixon, commander for the Texas Department of Public Safety Dive Team and assistant instructor at Austin Community College. Classes included not just lectures but also training with land drills, blind underwater search drills (pool), and concluded with the ocean dive this Friday at the west end of Ala Moana Beach Park.

Participating throughout the week were nearly 20 students from Chaminade, New Mexico State University, law enforcement personnel from the Sheriff Division / Maui Section and the Micronesian Dive Association, as well as HFD firefighters, instructors from Guam Community College and Hawaii Pacific University. By the way, the former newspaper publisher Lee Webber, who now volunteers for Guam’s crime lab, also participated.

For students looking to contribute to society through law, public safety, and service, Chaminade’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA) program provides an exceptional foundation for influential work in local or national government or administration, with the option of professional certification in the growing field of Homeland Security Leadership Development. For students already working in the field or for those who cannot attend evening classes for any reason, this course of study is also conveniently available online. Grounded in judicial theory and practice for both civil and criminal arenas, graduates are prepared for managerial, research, and instructional positions within the criminal justice system, in both the public and private sectors.

Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 9681, which is its main campus. It also has nine satellite locations around Oahu. Chaminade University is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and looks forward to increased opportunities to promote environmental sustainability. For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at or call (808) 735-4711. ###






Earlier this week, the two land photos above were taken as students practiced techniques on the Chaminade campus oval near Waialae Entrance.  Teams worked on techniques to uncover firearms and bodies that are submerged in clouded waters. Goggles were covered in duct tape to simulate clouded water.









1. From left to right, Professor Ron Becker (Criminal Justice Program director), Gordon Knowles, Chris Nolan, Holly Hewitt, and Leedo Anderson








2.  Ann and Robert Weber check equipment with Professor Ron Becker








3.  Weapon found by team members included from left to right, Chris Nolan, Holly Hewitt, Lee Webber, Dumitru Vandici and Gordon Knowles.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kapono Ryan         (808)735-4797