Boston's Finest Teaching White Collar & Cyber Crime to Bay State College Criminal Justice Students
Check out any of the front-page, headline crime stories in Boston news and you’ll likely find Bay State College Criminal Justice professor, Steven Blair somewhere in the story. As a Detective with the Special Investigations Unit, Major Case Division for the City of Boston Police Department, Steven brings 34 years of experience with him each and every time he steps into the classroom.
Steven, a native Bostonian, began his career as a Boston Police Officer and was promoted to detective based on merit. A decorated police officer and detective, Steven has earned many awards over the years, including a Medal of Honor for Outstanding Valor from the Boston Police Department and a Public Service Award from the United States Attorney’s Office.
Over his 34-year career Steven has seen the city of Boston change drastically.
As we sit down to chat with him about some of his experiences, Steven recalls some of the biggest cases in his career. From being called into action at the FBI headquarters on September 11th to the detective work we all remember in the days and weeks following the Boston Marathon Bombings.
Most recently, Detective Blair led the investigation into Joanna Leigh, the Jamaica Plain woman indicted on charges she faked brain injuries to claim One Fund money after the Boston Marathon Bombings.
“Boston used to be a different place,” says Blair. “Crime is definitely down in the neighborhoods I used to patrol, but even so, the types of crime have changed. We’re dealing with things like terrorism and cyber-crime.”
Currently, Blair is teaching a course called White Collar & Cyber Crime, which focuses on two unique areas of crime that pose particular challenges for the security and law enforcement professional. These crimes are often committed by individuals, groups and, at times, corporations that are considered respectable and sometimes elite members of our society. The course examines topic areas such as financial fraud, embezzlement and computer hacking as well as current trends and technologies associated with information security.
“Cyber-crime is something that is constantly evolving,” says Blair. “The internet is a great resource, but it’s also a scary place. People are being taken advantage of – especially the elderly. I speak at different conference about the topic and it’s really an important topic to teach our Criminal Justice students, because it’s not going away anytime soon.”
In the next few months, Blair will be giving the Key Note address at SecureWorld2016 and several other conferences in the Boston area.
On top of all of this, Blair is an instructor with the Boston Police Academy where he teaches computer/cyber-crimes investigations and white-collar crime.
Dr. William Morrissette, Department Chair of the Criminal Justice Program at Bay State College, feels lucky to have professionals like Steven that believe in the mission of the criminal justice program and are willing to share their expertise with our students.
“The field of policing is facing substantial challenges as it deals on one end with the growing threat of terrorism and cyber-crime, and on the other with questions of police use of force and abuse of power,” says Morrissette. “It is critical that we have experts who can help our students place these challenges and the profession of policing in a proper context so that they can make informed decisions about potential careers.”
Here at Bay State College, we are proud of the industry experience our faculty bring to the classroom. Steven Blair is a prime example of this.
One thing is for sure – our students are learning from the real deal.