New Criminal Justice instructor sees bright futures for his students
Coming from a family pre-dominantly made up of police officers and educators, it’s no surprise James E. Combs, Jr. the new Butler Tech Criminal Justice Instructor, has entered the classroom in this season of life.
“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” said Combs, who is a retired Dayton Police Officer with 21 years of experience, five of those years as an Academy Instructor.
Combs has taught Criminal Justice at Meadowdale, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Ponitz Career Technology within the Dayton School District, since 2006. He holds a five-year teaching license in Criminal Justice and is a recent graduate of Wright State University, where he obtained his Master of Education degree this past spring.
During the first week of classes at Butler Tech, Combs made some observations about his students. “I saw a twinkle in their eyes of interest more than curiosity,” he said. “These students are serious about criminal justice, and the sky is the limit for opportunity.”
Combs says students can expect to take an objective view of the subject matter, and a lot of hard subject matter is in store.
“We’ll look at where our society is now in criminal justice and also take a historical perspective of the turbulent journey to get where we are now,” he said.
Combs plans to pull from the knowledge and experience of Sir Robert Peel, a former British Prime Minister and the founder of the Metropolitan Police Service. One of Combs’ favorite quotes from Peel is, “The police are the community, and the community are the police.”
When Combs isn’t teaching or policing, he can be found in the kitchen. He enjoys cooking Italian food, but it’s his gumbo that brings the family to the dinner table. Combs and his wife Phyllis have been married 35 years and reside in Waynesville. They have two adult children, Dominic and Ashley.