Leadership Waxahachie learned about the law on Criminal Justice Day.

 Friday, January 23, 2009, the 2009 Leadership Waxahachie class spent the day listening to various representatives of the criminal justice system in Ellis County and the city of Waxahachie.

The day began with presentations by Ellis County and District Attorney, Joe Grubbs, Assistant Ellis County District Attorney Lee Auvenshine and Ellis County Community Supervision and Corrections Department Director Alfred Mims.

Grubbs gave a thorough explanation of the role of the District Attorney’s office and Auvenshine offered a glimpse of the new facilities already under construction in Downtown Waxahachie. Mims followed by explaining the scope and role of the Community Supervision Department. The three speakers engaged in a detailed question and answer session with the leadership group.

After a quick lunch, the class was ushered into the Gingerbread House, Ellis County’s children’s advocacy center. A tour and presentation conducted by  John Wyckoff, executive director of the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center, explained that the Gingerbread House is a place that facilitates a coordinated intervention process to limit further possible trauma to a child.

The leadership class then toured the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and jail guided by newly elected Sheriff Johnny Brown. A brief presentation was given in the lobby, that was filled with historical and current artifacts. A thorough tour of the sparkling clean jail and a candid question and answer session followed.

City of Waxahachie Chief of Police, Chuck Edge, gave a presentation of the department and of the current state of crime in Waxahachie.

The day closed with an informational session about plea bargains led by Ellis County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Wilson and Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph R. Gallo. The two discussed the dynamics of plea bargains and utilized hypothetical situations to explain and possibly dispel any misconceptions of the process.

“This group was able to learn so much about how our legal system works here in Ellis County,” said Leadership Waxahachie advisor and president of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce Debra Wakeland. “As future leaders of the community, this day was very valuable to them.”

To learn more about the Leadership Waxahachie program go to www.waxahachiechamber.com or call 972-937-2390.