Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big Brothers Big Sisters Solving Crimes on the Vol State Campus

This may look like a drug deal gone bad, but it is actually part of a crime scene investigation competition. Vol State recently partnered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee program involving kids in a fun mystery while teaching the importance of education.  Kevin Cook, director of the Vol State Criminal Justice program, orchestrated the event.
“I have a friend that has been involved with Big Brothers for twenty plus years and that is how I was familiar with them,” said Cook.  "I wanted to do something to support the organization so I decided to set-up this event.  It was something free that would encourage communication between the mentor and the child.  I made some of these exercises a little difficult, with the intention of having them work together and collaborate on the solution.”
The participants made casts of footprints, lifted fingerprints, and used special glasses and crime scene flashlights to uncover evidence and track the mock criminal activity.  Students Kayline Schrader and Ashley Hart are both involved in the criminal justice bachelor's degree program that Vol State has with TSU.  They walked the participants into a darkened bathroom with special glasses and black lights to uncover hidden evidence.
“It really is great getting to walk the kids through each step of the crime,” said Hart.
One excited Little Sister told me, “It was fun. I really enjoyed making the shoe print mold to identify the bad guy.”
Tami Huggins was one of the students helping with the grand finale. It portrayed a mock drug deal gone bad crime scene.  Bullet casings, a bloody knife, and other clues were placed around a car sectioned off with yellow tape. 
“I guess it looked pretty authentic because several people have come by and asked what was going on,” said Huggins.  “We told them it was a drug deal gone bad and then explained the situation and we all laughed.”
Her partner Candice Wright is transferring to a four-year program at MTSU.  “I am going to be a homicide detective on the Nashville Police force.”
Cook said this is the first time we have done this but plans on doing more projects in the future.  “This was a great opportunity for the students to operate in a teaching capacity," Cook explained. “I intentionally set it up in a way so that each child could actually learn something.  Not just be involved in an activity but take something away from this experience.  My peers are great.  David Carrol is retired from the Nashville homicide murder squad and Jim Brown runs our fast track criminal program.  Both really helped to put this thing together.  For more information about the Vol State criminal Justice program visit the following link.  For more information about the Big Brother Big Sister program visit their home page.
Volunteer State Community College


Anonymous said...

It would be awesome if they would have these for the college students to do.

Vol State said...

Good idea anon...I'll pass it along to the Criminal Justice folks. Criminal Justice students do this in the program, but it might be cool to show other students what they do.