Thanks for support of forensics camp

Published 10:13 pm Thursday, July 10, 2014

By C. Phillips Ferguson

I am writing regarding the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office’s recent Forensics Camp. The office provided the free forensics camp for Suffolk students, ages 12-15, during the month of June. The camp was very successful, graduating a total of 57 students.

The forensics camp 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. The forensics camp educated the students on the specific evidence needed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and how to properly collect evidence to successfully prosecute cases. The students became increasingly aware and understood the realities of criminal cases through forensics. The students were divided into four teams that worked mock crime scenes collecting evidence and gave reports at the closing graduation ceremony.

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I would like to thank Joan Turner, this office’s community outreach coordinator, for her dedication and outstanding work in organizing and implementing this camp. Joan was one of four instructors, leading a team of 15 students during the camp.

In addition, I would like to thank Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys Will H. Jamerson and James E. Wiser and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Vaughn T. Breedlove for their participation and dedication to this camp and these students. They explained to the students how this evidence that was collected was used to successfully prosecute cases.

The forensics camp was enriched by strong office partnerships, which included Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs Sr. and the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Isaacs provided the Identi-Kid Program for the forensics camp, furnishing his staff to execute the program. He allowed Deputy Sheriff Debbie Callis to assist with the Identi-Kid Program, entering 47 students into the program. Deputy Debbie Callis was also an instructor with the forensics camp, which allowed for 15 additional students to participate. This is very typical of how Sheriff Isaacs is very 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.

Also, I would like to thank Sheriff Mark Marshall of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Marshall allowed Forensics Investigators Bert Nurney and Wayne Hall to assist as instructors for the camp, thus allowing for 27 additional students in the camp. I very much appreciate the support of Sheriff Mark Marshall and his staff for their willingness to assist with this forensics camp.

Finally, I would like to thank Roy’s and Ricky’s Catering, Chick-fil-A, Subway and Farm Fresh for their donations for the graduation reception. Our community is indeed fortunate to have such willing and charitable business partners.

We expect to continue having this camp annually in June, following the end of the school year, and encourage parents to enroll their children in this camp.

C. Phillips Ferguson is the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Suffolk. Contact him at