Ex-New Kensington police officer avoids 'CSI effect' in law enforcement class
By R.A. Monti
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 1:31 a.m.
After 27 years as a police officer, Dennis Marsili has a vast amount of knowledge that he wants to pass on to prospective officers.
That's why Marsili decided to start teaching a law enforcement class as part of the Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation's Everyday Enrichment program.
“This is a class for anyone who wants to know what police officers really do, or is interested in starting a career in law enforcement,” said Marsili, a retired New Kensington police officer who is the program coordinator at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Criminal Justice Training Center.
“We hope this attracts people who have some interest in what law enforcement is and want to know the basics,” said Chris Kostiuk, the head of community engagement for the Apollo-Ridge School District. “This is a great opportunity for our community, considering most of the people who attend classes like this live right in the Apollo-Ridge School District.”
Kostiuk said that all ages are welcome, but a couple of high school students who are considering a career in law enforcement have already signed up for the class.
Marsili's class meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Registration is $50.
Marsili said he hopes the class will clear up some common misconceptions about what a police officer does in real life versus what TV shows portray.
“Part of this is the ‘CSI effect,' ” he said. “You have a good, professionally investigated criminal case brought to trial, and the public has this perception that everything should be proven to an absolute. That there is so much certainty, there is very little doubt left in a case.”
Marsili said the “CSI effect” causes people to think that if DNA isn't used to prove a case, then officers did something wrong and the case can't be proven.
“You're not always going to be able to get DNA at a scene,” he said. “Sometimes, weather conditions or something else just don't allow you to obtain it.”
Marsili's name is most likely recognizable to folks in the Alle-Kiski Valley because of the novel he wrote and released in 2011 titled “Excessive Forces: A Pittsburgh Police Thriller.”
Marsili is working on his second book, a nonfiction history of organized crime in New Kensington.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man to face DUI-homicide trial for Route 28 wreck
- Alle-Kiski car dealers ready for thaw
- Steelers score with Springdale fundraiser
- Harmar bald eagles get crack at parenting
- Fat Tuesday brings out the paczki, a Polish pre-Lenten tradition
- Vandergrift couple allegedly stole from relatives
- Latest Guys Run Road crash prompts Harmar to ask for stop sign
- Leechburg biology teacher earned students’ respect
- Charges against police chief have Springdale mayor crying foul
- Wreck closed Leechburg Road in Lower Burrell early Friday
- Cheswick man arraigned in death of Etna woman