Valdosta Daily Times

November 24, 2012

Wiregrass camps provide crime-scene instruction for kids

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Wiregrass Technical College’s two-day CSI (Crime Scene Investigations) camp returned for a third run this past week as middle school and high school students were given the opportunity to break down crime scenes and immerse themselves in simulators.

Wiregrass’ Matt Pack, camp organizer and criminal justice instructor, said the camp welcomed 34 campers this past session, five of which had attended the previous CSI camp. He said the fall run of the camp gave the day-campers more time to take part in the camp’s most popular attraction — the crime scenes.

“We had five returning and the rest are all brand new,” said Pack. “And since it was cooler, we got to stay outside at the crime scenes longer than in the spring

 and summer sessions.”

 Pack said the camp had five stations which included room clearing, fingerprinting, an assault simulator, and two outdoor crime scenes. He said the day-campers spent most of the first day touring the camp’s stations and they enjoyed a pizza party and awards ceremony on Tuesday, the camp’s second and final day.

The camp has received a lot of support from the Wiregrass community, said Pack. He said there were 15 volunteers, two of whom were parents and the rest were former students, along with the support of Wiregrass’ administration.

“There’s been a lot of support from the upper crust,” said Pack. “We had more elements from the school helping out, now that they know how we operate. These camps are always good opportunities for kids to see how things work with the CSI units. It’s not as easy as it looks on TV, but it’s a really good experience for them.”

The next CSI camp may run in the spring, Pack said. The expansion of Wiregrass’ criminal justice program may attract students from the higher end of the camp’s 3-12 grade spectrum, said Pack.

“We’d like to have the next CSI camp in the spring, maybe in March,” said Pack. “Now that our criminal justice program offers a new associate’s degree in forensic associates, the camp has really been catching the attention of a lot of older students.”