Students learn techniques for investigating crime scenes

By: Shannon Smith

Professor Steve Snowaert and his CJ 214 Investigative Process I class discover what it is like at the scene of a crime. While only taking impressions, this task is harder then it seems. Most crime shows portray impression taking to be easy; however, Snowaert guides the class in this meticulous duty. Measurements, molds, and pictures must be made to preserve and make footprints for any impression.

Students Make PlasterIn this very hands-on lab, students, along with Katie Brown, freshman fellowship student and Steve Snowaert's personal assistant, learn how to make the fast-drying, plaster-like mold. Students were given some tips such as how the consistency of the mold should be and how to measure and take pictures correctly, but for the most part, students were allowed to experiment with different impressions. Many students used either a shoe or hand, but other body parts and tools were allowed, such as an arm or a hammer.

Students leave an impressionThe students were given two appropriate ground choices, dirt or sand. Dirt, on one hand was a more simple substance to work with because of how it forms together, whereas sand you have to be extremely careful not to disturb the areas around it.

All in all, the lesson was a great success among students, and it was obvious that Steve Snowaert left an impression.

Students interested in learning more about investigative techniques can register for CJ 214 in the upcoming semester. If you enjoy that course, you can choose to take the follow-up course, CJ 414 Investigative Process II.

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Student Makes ImpressionSnowaert and StudentsStudent Makes MoldStudents gather to make make a moldFun in class3 Students work hardA Student Peers into a Microscope