Another successful forensics camp

Published 8:19 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2015

To the editor:

I am writing regarding the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office’s recent free forensics camp for Suffolk students 12 to 15 years old. This was our fourth camp and was very successful, graduating a total of 59 students.

The forensics camp taught students about observation, photography, evidence collection, preservation and testimony in court. The curriculum was designed to educate students on the specific evidence needed by the commonwealth’s attorney’s office and how to properly collect evidence to successfully prosecute cases.

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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.

I would like to thank community outreach coordinator Joan Turner for her dedication and outstanding work in organizing and implementing this camp. Joan was one of four instructors, leading teams of 15 students each.

In addition, I would like to thank Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys Will H. Jamerson and Matthew A. Glassman, Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan H. Walton and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Vaughn Breedlove for their participation and dedication to this camp and these students. They explained how collected evidence is used to successfully prosecute cases.

The forensics camp was enriched by strong office partnerships, which included Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs Sr., Major E.C. Harris and the Suffolk Sheriff’s office. Sheriff Isaacs and Major Harris provided the Ident-A-Kid program, furnishing their staff to execute it. They allowed Deputy Sheriff Debbie Callis to assist, entering 52 students into the program.

Deputy Callis was also an instructor for the forensics camp, which allowed an additional 15 students to participate.

This is very typical of how Sheriff Isaacs and Major Harris are very involved in the Suffolk community, always putting the needs of Suffolk’s citizens first. I personally would like to thank Sheriff Isaacs, Major Harris and their staff for their support.

Also, I would like to thank Sheriff Mark Marshall of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. He allowed forensics investigators Bert Nurney and Wayne Hall to assist as instructors for the camp, thus allowing for 29 additional students. I very much appreciate the support of Sheriff Marshall and his staff for their willingness to assist.

Finally, I would like to thank Chick-fil-A, Subway, Farm Fresh, Food Lion, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Mr. and Mrs. Thaddius Bailey and one citizen who wants to remain anonymous for their donations for the graduation reception. Our community is indeed fortunate to have such willing and charitable business and citizen partners.

We expect to continue holding this camp each June, following the end of the school year, and we encourage parents to enroll their children in it.

C. Phillips Ferguson

Commonwealth’s Attorney