Partnerships make camp a success

Published 10:34 pm Friday, July 1, 2016

To the editor:

I am writing regarding the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office’s recent fifth annual Forensics Camp. The office provided the free forensics camps for Suffolk students, ages 12-15, during the month of June.

The camp was very successful, graduating a total of 58 students.

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Forensics Camp taught 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 camp educated students on the specific evidence needed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney and how to properly collect evidence to successfully prosecute cases.

Students became increasingly aware of and understood the realities of criminal cases through forensics. Students were divided into five teams that worked mock crime scenes, collecting evidence and giving reports at the graduation ceremony.

I would like to thank Joan Turner, my office’s community outreach coordinator, for her dedication and outstanding work in organizing and implementing this camp. Joan was one of five instructors, each leading a team of 11-12 students.

In addition, I would like to thank Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew A. Glassman, Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Vaughn T. Breedlove and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney George W. Bruch for their participation in and dedication to this camp and these students.

They explained how evidence is collected and used to successfully prosecute cases.

Forensics Camp was enriched by strong office partnerships with Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs Sr., Major E.C. Harris and the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Isaacs and Major Harris provided the Identi-Kid program for Forensics Camp, furnishing their staff to execute the program. They allowed Deputy Sheriff Debbie Callis to assist with Identi-Kid and enter 58 students into the program.

Deputy Callis was also an instructor for the camp, allowing an additional 11 or 12 students to participate. This is typical of how Sheriff Isaacs and Major Harris are very involved in the Suffolk community, putting the needs of Suffolk’s citizens first. I personally would like to thank them for their support.

Also, I would like to thank Sheriff Mark Marshall of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office for allowing forensics investigators Bert Nurney, Wayne Hall and Katrina Everett to assist as instructors for the camp, allowing for 35 additional students. I very much appreciate the willingness of Sheriff Marshall and his staff to assist.

Finally, I would like to thank Chick-fil-A, Subway, Little Caesars Pizza 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 holding this camp annually in June, following the end of the school year, and we encourage parents to enroll their children.

C. Phillips Ferguson

Commonwealth’s Attorney