April 04, 2013
Criminal justice class experiences a simulated crime scene
Student examines blood splatter
On Tuesday, April 2, crime scene tape and evidence bags could be found on Lees-McRae's campus as part of a simulated crime scene conducted by Granite Falls Police Department. Sixteen criminal justice students enjoyed this exciting opportunity to sift through evidence and solve the crime as they brought their classroom studies into the real world.

"We did this exercise as part of our study on investigation in my Principles of Law Enforcement class,"� said Tracy Hoilman, professor of Criminal Justice. "It let the students learn hands-on what happens in an actual crime scene."�

Students gather outside the crime scene

The crime scene was staged in an empty house on the campus of Lees-McRae. Students processed evidence which included blood spatter, shell casings, projectiles, and a fake dead body. They took crime scene photographs, identified and interviewed witnesses, and dealt with the media and other parties not involved in the crime scene. In addition, they also learned to interview a child and how to make decisions about search warrants and probable cause.

A student photographs the crime scene

"I had the most fun I've had in my two years at Lees-McRae,"� said Ryan Harrison, a student in the Principles of Law Enforcement class. "We learned so much about processing a crime scene. We also learned there is more to it than meets the eye."�

A graduate of the Lees-McRae Extended Campus Criminal Justice program, T.J. Bates, now the Assistant Police Chief for

Student examines blood splatter

Granite Falls Police Department, conducted the exercise which included a briefing, the actual exercise of examining the crime scene and the debriefing. The exercise began at 9:30 a.m. and by 2 p.m. the students had examined all the evidence and determined what crime was committed and who committed it.

"We won't keep you in suspense,"� said Hoilman. "The simulated crime was a murder and one of the students actually did it. Some of the students were able to figure it out but it is tougher than it looks on television!"�

For more information on criminal justice at Lees-McRae College, please contact Sue Hart, chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, at

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