Forensic Camp in Suffolk teaches kids how to be crime scene investigators

Forensic Camp in Suffolk teaches kids how to be crime scene investigators

SUFFOLK, Va. — All week long, a group of Suffolk students is learning what it really takes to be a crime scene investigator.

“Our goal is to show them what it is to be a true crime scene investigator,” said Joan Turner, the community outreach coordinator for Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. “They see so much on TV with all the different shows so we wanted to show them what it really means to be a CSI.”

Put on by Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Narendra Pleas, the totally free CSI/Forensic Camp is teaching 33 kids how to collect evidence, take photographs, make sketches, and even testify in court.

On Friday, the teenagers will form small groups and investigate mock crime scenes before graduating from the camp.

“The crime scenes include an assault, two robberies, and also a burglary,” added Turner.

Kaitlin McCleod, a rising sophomore at Nanesomd High School, says she came back to camp for the second year in a row after enjoying it last summer.

“I really like all the hands-on stuff,” she explained.

The student also says that it’s helped her develop new interests and potential career paths.

“One I think found really interesting is facial reconstruction,” said McCleod. “When you take the skull of a deceased person to figure out what they looked like they were alive.”

While organizers say the camp’s goal is to teach kids how to be true crime scene investigators, the program also exposes kids to other STEM-related career paths.

“They can also work in a lab where they can look at forensic biology, chemistry, or become a medical examiner,” said Turner. “And there are some students who want to be a detective or police officers, there’s some that mentioned they want to be attorneys.”

The camp is offered annually for Suffolk residents ages 12-15.

“We’re just so excited to bring this to the students [and] the students are very much engaged,” added Turner.

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