Outdoor crime scene demonstration gives students hands-on experience

man teaching students outside
Students gathered Nov. 19 to learn about outdoor crime scene examination.

Augusta University’s Department of Social Sciences and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office created an outdoor crime scene on Tuesday, Nov. 12, near the quadrangle on the Summerville Campus.

Criminal justice instructor Kenneth Shugars and his criminal investigation students turned the space into a crime scene to learn how to examine a scene as well as set-up and breakdown procedures.

“When you bring in the experience with the criminal justice investigators, it helps us recruit students and bring interest to our program,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for the past eight years here, bringing in the lead investigators … I can’t replace the experience these guys have.

“This training helps make complete law enforcement people,” he added.

Shugars is a retired U.S. Marshal and has made this exercise a recurring part of his class since 2012. Former students have said this exercise gave them an advantage when they joined the field.

Also, crime scene investigator Tim Burnley of Columbia County Sheriff’s Office brought a CSI truck with equipment, including a 3D mapping laser.

Burnley said the equipment was estimated to cost more than $100,000, with the mapping laser itself about half of that amount. In addition to reconstructing crime scenes, the mapping laser is also used to gather details of traffic accidents.

Shugars said that over the next several weeks, his students will be working on mock crime scene projects and photographing them on campus. They will be using props to simulate a crime scene.

Learn more about the Department of Social Sciences.

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Raysean Ricks

Raysean Ricks is a writer for Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144 or email him at rricks@augusta.edu.

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Written by Raysean Ricks

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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