Many contributed to forensic camps

Published 9:50 pm Thursday, September 19, 2013

By C. Phillips Ferguson

I am writing regarding the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office’s recent forensic camps. The office provided the free forensic camps for Suffolk students, ages 12-15 during the months of June and August. The camps were very successful, graduating a total of 51 students.

The forensic camps taught the students about observation, photography, evidence collection, preservation and testimony in court. The curriculum was designed to educate students about the study of forensics through criminal law.

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The forensic camps educated students on the specific evidence needed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and how to properly collect evidence to successfully prosecute cases. Students became increasingly aware and understood the realities of criminal cases through forensics. They worked mock crime scenes collecting evidence and gave reports at the closing graduation ceremony.

I would like to thank Joan Turner, this office’s community outreach coordinator, for her dedication and outstanding work in organizing and implementing these camps and for her work as a forensic evidence instructor.

The forensic camps were enriched by a strong partnership with between our office and that of Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs Sr. Sheriff Isaacs provided the Identi-Kid Program for both forensic camps, furnishing his staff to execute the program. He also allowed Lt. James Darden and Deputy Sheriff Debbie Callis to assist with the camps.

Deputy Callis was an instructor with the second camp, which allowed for 10 additional students to participate in the experience. This is typical of how Sheriff Isaacs is involved in the Suffolk community, always putting the needs of Suffolk’s citizens first. I personally would like to thank Sheriff Isaacs and his staff for their support.

In addition, I would like to thank Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall. Sheriff Marshall allowed forensic investigator Bert Nurney to assist as an instructor for both camps and Investigator Wayne Hall to assist as instructor for the June forensic camp. I very much appreciate the support of Sheriff Mark Marshall and his staff for their willingness to assist with these camps.

Finally, I would like to thank Chick-fil-A, Wal-Mart, Holland’s Produce and Firehouse Subs for their donations for the graduation receptions. Our community is indeed fortunate to have such willing, charitable business partners.

C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson is the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Suffolk. His office can be reached at 514-4365 or by email at