Summer camp for crime scene investigators

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It may look like your typical crime scene and the whole investigative process, but in actuality it’s all fake, to some degree. It’s part of the annual crime scene investigators camp at the University of New Haven.

“The kids are learning how to process a crime scene and the procedures involved from initial response to presentation in a court room,” explained Peter Massey of the Forensic Science Department at UNH. All week these teenagers have been busy learning the ins and outs of forensic science.

Teen investigators check out the evidence at a crime scene camp at the University of New Haven, Aug. 1, 2014.
Teen investigators check out the evidence at a crime scene camp at the University of New Haven, Aug. 1, 2014.

“I’ve had an interest in forensic science for a couple years and I thought I might as well just see what it’s like,” said Mike Chapman of Guilford.

“I think it’s so interesting to try and figure out what the criminal was thinking and get in their head and the way they think,” Jenna Risko of Oxford said.

This day is an important part of the week-long program. They are taking everything they’ve learned and now have to apply it to various crime scenes that have been set up at the college. From blood stains to fingerprints, evidence to search warrants, it’s the real deal.

“This is a two way street,” Massey said. “They actually get to see and do, but they also learn about the university and the programs at the university.”

Teen investigators check out the evidence at a crime scene camp at the University of New Haven, Aug. 1, 2014.
Teen investigators check out the evidence at a crime scene camp at the University of New Haven, Aug. 1, 2014.

The CSI academy is also teaching students a valuable lesson — that processing a crime scene and solving a case is not as easy as it looks on iv.

“On TV they kind of rush everything,” Chapman said.

“It is a lot different from TV because it does take time,” Risko said.

When all is said and done the students will present all their evidence and try to solve the case. “We hope that they get a real life experience out of it, meaning that there’s not an instant answer,” Massey said. “There’s a lot of downtime. It’s an awful lot of work from beginning to end.”

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