Camp for budding sleuths

Published 9:49 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can sign up for a new weeklong Suffolk Commonwealth Attorney’s Office camp teaching how good police work solves crimes.

The forensics camp, to be hosted by Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson June 17-21, will include lessons on observation, photography, evidence collection, preservation and testimony in court.

Azana Carr measures a handgun in a mock crime scene during a police department forensics camp last year. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is hosting a similar camp this year, and registration is open now.

Azana Carr measures a handgun in a mock crime scene during a police department forensics camp last year. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is hosting a similar camp this year, and registration is open now.

Ferguson said his office previously didn’t have the expertise to host such a camp, but with the addition of Community Outreach Coordinator Joan Turner, who previously led Suffolk Police Department’s forensics unit, it now does.

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“We actually have a prosecutor that will be talking to the kids to explain what they are looking for when they prosecute the cases,” Ferguson said.

He said he hopes the camp will encourage teens to consider careers in criminal justice or as attorneys.

“Even if they don’t, the mere educational part of it is significant,” he said.

The camp, running from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day, will take place at the Suffolk Health and Human Services Building, 135 Hall Ave.

Twenty slots are available, and 10 have already been filled, Ferguson said.

According to Turner, students on the first day will learn three basic steps of crime scene investigation: photos, notes and sketches.

On day two, an attorney will speak about assault cases and “what kind of evidence they look for when they go to court for assault cases.”

On the Wednesday of camp, an attorney will speak about burglary cases and the type of evidence they look for, and on Thursday, students will actually visit a “crime scene.”

Two mock crime scenes, a burglary and an assault, will include photographers, note takers and evidence collectors, Turner said.

Fake blood will be involved, and students will attempt to lift fingerprints from the handle of a “bloodied knife,” she said.

The final day is reserved for graduation from the camp.

Those who are interested are encouraged to sign up by June 3. To do so, visit the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office website or call 514-4379.