Reimagining Law Enforcement: Skills Needed for 21st Century Careers

October 27, 2020
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Join Career Services and the Criminal Justice Department on October 27 at 4 p.m. for a Zoom panel titled "Reimagining Law Enforcement: Skills Needed for 21st Century Careers."  This panel will feature criminal justice and law enforcement professionals discussing the current situations within our communities and how we can adapt to improve. It will give both current and prospective Niagara University students personal insight into the world of law enforcement in 2020.  Register at


Melissa Costa

 Melissa Ortega Costa, Diversion and Assistance Program Clinician

 Melissa Ortega Costa is a licensed independent clinical social worker in Massachusetts. She earned a Masters in Social Work from Boston University, where she studied clinical practice and where she received a certificate in macro practice.  Melissa is a Case Manager Supervisor for the Massachusetts’ Department of Mental Health and she is a Diversion and Assistance Program Clinician for NorthStar Learning Center with the New Bedford Police Department. Melissa is passionate about mentoring new social workers; she serves as a field instructor for the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University.  Melissa is deeply involved in the lives of youth in her community. She serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts; she is a certified trainer for racial justice and cultural competency, as well as youth/police dialogues; and she serves on the governance committee of the Greater New Bedford Suicide Prevention Coalition. 


Carlton Cain, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Ret.)

Deputy Superintendent of Police Carlton Cain (Ret.) was employed with the Niagara Falls Police Department for over 31 years.  He has held assignments in patrol, street crimes, housing, internal affairs, community relations, and co-direct of the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy.

He has associate degrees from Niagara County Community College and the Community College of the United States Air Force. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with a B.A. in philosophy.  He holds Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice Administration and  Business Management. He is a graduate of the F. B. I. National Academy (Class 259).   

Deputy Superintendent Cain oversaw the Office of Professional Standards, Community Relations, and Use of Force Analysis. He implemented several programs such as Pastors v. Police annual basketball game, Police and Pastors on patrol, Police & Citizens bike ride, youth and adult foil fencing, anti-bullying program/s, mentorships in the city schools, youth, and adult police academies, pastors’ police academy, and civic police academy.  Further, with the implementation of kickin’ It With The Cops, he was instrumental in getting the police department's command staff into direct one-on-one interaction with the various communities in Niagara Falls. 

Julie Kratz, Lt. Niagara County Sherriff’s Office

Lt. Kratz is  Lockport native and a 2010 graduate of Niagara University majoring in criminology. She has been employed by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office since March 2012 and has spent most of her career assigned to road patrol.  Julie is a Drug Recognition Expert, Field Training Officer, Police Instructor, and a member of the NCSO Accident Investigation Unit. In January 2019, she was promoted to Lieutenant and has been the CO-Director of the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy (NCLEA) and Niagara University since June 2020. Lt. Kratz also serves as an exempt member of the Wrights Corners Fire Company.  She currently resides in Niagara Falls.