UPD hosts Triad High School’s forensic science class


Submitted story

On May 14, the Urbana Police Division hosted students of the Forensic Science Class from Triad High School for a day of instruction and practical exercises working alongside officers.

Triad Forensic Science teacher Mackenzie Swary and Triad Director of Academics Programs, Patrick Johnson, along with 14 students spent the day with officers learning about crime scene investigations as they investigated a mock suspicious death scene as well as a mock investigation of a traffic stop involving an impaired driver, showing the students how an impaired driver investigation is conducted.

Upon their morning arrival at the police division, the students were welcomed by Chief Matt Lingrell, Sergeant Jason Kizer and Officer Robbie Evans of the UPD Criminal Investigations Unit. Kizer and Evans coordinated the day’s learning activities including classroom instruction on conducting a crime scene investigation as well as practical exercises that followed.

After a tour of the police facility, lunch was shared with pizza and pop, during which time officers, including Sergeant Todd Pratt and Officers Luke Hiltibran and Lance Turner, shared with the class what path they took to become police officers. After lunch the class spent the rest of the day participating in various practical crime scene exercises.

Students learned the importance of protecting a crime scene, identifying, photographing and techniques on collecting evidence including latent fingerprints, DNA and blood from the mock crime scene. Students were tasked with developing and lifting latent fingerprints left at the crime scene and then comparing them to blowup photographs of sample prints where students had to compare the prints they’d developed and lifted and find the actual matching set of prints to a suspect.

Students wore our “drunk goggles” which simulate what it feels like to be impaired and were shown what steps an officer follows to determine if a driver is impaired and the investigative steps that follow in enforcing impaired driving laws.

Both the students and the officers seemed to thoroughly enjoy the time spent together and hated seeing the day come to an end.

Information submitted by Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell

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